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Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services

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Patient Stories

Waiting ten weeks for a basic intake appointment

Published Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I have a history of severe clinical depression. When I sensed a depressive episode coming on I contacted Kaiser and asked to see a different therapist. That simple request meant I am waiting 10 WEEKS to get a basic intake appointment.

I tried multiple times to call and find a workaround. I filed a grievance and an appeal with Kaiser; both were denied. They claim that they are offering care with a psychiatrist and group therapy (via Zoom.) Any mental health practitioner will tell you that those two things are tools, but not a replacement for 1:1 therapy with a mental health practitioner.

In the end, I am paying out of pocket to ensure I get the care I need in a timely fashion. Ten-week delays are potentially dangerous for someone with depression.

This is the third time in four years that I have been in a situation where Kaiser makes it so difficult to access 1:1 therapy that I have had to go out of network and pay out of pocket. This is not a COVID issue. It’s a Kaiser issue.