When it comes to the mental health crisis in America, I have to defer to those with more knowledge than I.
For severely mentally ill folks (I’m talking the kinds of folks who walk into malls with guns), I don’t know if “treatment” is truly an option. If (and that’s a big IF) that individual responds to medication, there is still no way to insure he actually takes said medication. Unless we have the ability to vaccinate against mental illness and we, as a society, are okay with forcing meds down the throats of folks who need it, I simply cannot see a way to help.
Those in Washington are always calling for better mental health screenings and treatment options. All nice talking points, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, how can we force people to get treatment? We can’t.
But, I was pleasantly surprised this week when an e-mail showed up from my healthcare insurer this week. The subject line read, “Feeling lonely? We can help.”
Inside the message, I found that the insurance company has all sorts of resources for emotional support, tips for helping make friends and community centers where people can go to get help …NOT their local E.R. There is even a way to sign up to get a weekly text message with an encouraging word and a reminder of the insurance company’s mental health resources.
I do not know one single person in my wide network of people who is truly, truly happy with their healthcare insurance. Personally, I’m rather disgusted at my own healthcare insurance company right now. Chances are, you are, too. BUT…at least the insurance company is trying. At least they are promoting their resources to help people deal with grief and loss.
At least they are doing…something. And that’s more than I can say for the talking heads that always seem to pop up after a tragedy. When it comes to tangible, accessible resources, as much as I dislike the money making parts of healthcare, at least this company is making an effort.