[Hpn] Rubber bullet problem Att: Catalina
Thu, 24 Aug 2000 08:52:25 -0400
Some readers have wondered why I am so opposed to involuntary outpatient
treatment for (CtC commit to community laws) competent adults, What
follows is an articulate reason why. My best assessment of any of the CtC
laws and existing mental health centers, and a longish working
relationship in New Hampshire Hospital, leads me to the inevitable
conclusion that without equal funding for psychiatric disabilities we are
working hard at not treating people with disabilities but destroying them
by failing to support them adequately. in short do we want these people
supported in their jobs-homes-families or do we want them confined solely
for the profitability of HMOs?
>Count me in, re: getting involved with ANYTHING that can positively
>the lives of people with disabilities, re: legislation,
>I don't know where to go, etc., but I need to be involved - its either
>or give up and die.
>I have Moebius syndrome (congenital oculofacial paralysis) - the
>that Chelsey ("the Smile Girl" who had surgeries so that she could
>has. While Kaiser got really good press with that surgery, the media
>utterly failed to show the fight her mom had to go through to GET the
>surgery, or the DISCRIMINATION another adult with Moebius had when HE
>the surgery, Kaiser refused to authorize it for him, even though they
>already had authorized it for several children... the ONLY reason he got
>surgery was that he called Chelsey's mom who happened to be having the
>from "Good Morning America" over later that afternoon ... and SHE called
>Kaiser and told them they had an hour to authorize it, or she would tell
>world that Kaiser DISCRIMINATES against others with the same disorder.
>Part of Moebius (a physical disability) is its brain-based nature - it
>affects the cranial nerves, and there are people with Moebius who also
>Asperger syndrome, mental retardation and depression. I deal with
>depression - a very treatment resistant one, made far more chronic
>a result of Kaiser's substandard care, as well as FAILURE to provide
>care as included in both my health benefits AND AB 88 ('mental health
>law'). My father AND HIS father both committed suicide; so did two
>know (one was a close friend) who also had Moebius. So there is a
>significant genetic and biological link to depression.
>I'm NOT 'just' a "consumer of mental health care"... I'm a teacher (LA
>County Office of Ed) and work with children affected with orthopedic
>impairments. I am finishing my 4th and 5th teaching credentials; I am
>effective advocate and respected teacher. I BELIEVE in what I do as a
>teacher (and as a PWD) ... but things get incredibly difficult when I am
>denied access to decent mental health care.
>My father had no mental health care; he killed himself by driving his
>into our family garage and leaving it running - my little sister found
>dead. HIS father likewise had no mental health care - and hung himself
>jail after having been arrested for drunkenness (I believe). My friend
>Frank had no mental health care - he shot himself in the mouth in June
>1999. Another person I knew, John, (who also had Moebius) poured
>on himself and burned himself to death in his car. He didn't have
>health care either.
>But I, allegedly, do. it is absolutely substandard - medication has
>been changed when *I* insist (long after it should have been changed!).
>had a therapist "intern" who was NOT trained or provided ANY support.
>Kaiser REFUSED to allow me to change therapists, and when I finally
>to see this 'therapist' any more (LONG after writing letters, calling
>Benefits several times, their 'hot line', etc.) ...STILL nothing
>WHY? Because the CA Insurance lobby must be so strong - there IS NO
>accountability with regard to mental health care. There are laws, but
>ONLY way they are enforced is when one has the tenacity to seek legal
>recourse. They authorized "ECT" ('shock therapy') - willing to pay the
>for 6 - 12 of those, plus hospitalization for 2 - 3 weeks (ECT was only
>a 50/50 chance of working because of the brain-based nature of Moebius;
>doctor also didn't know what potential damage could occur if I had it)
>but absolutely refuse to authorize a trained therapist (or tell me why
>So Sharon, count me in. I live in Southern California (La Puente) - my
>e-mail address is email@example.com --- its either get involved
>have no one to blame when nothing continues to happen!
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