Viewpoints: Insurance Red Tape Restricts Mental Health Care; Record Number Of Overdoses Requires Action
Editorial writers tackle these public health topics.
Covid's Mental Health Toll Makes Therapists Hard To Find. Insurance Companies Make It Harder.
Ask anyone about a recent experience trying to find a therapist and you will be regaled with stories of unreturned calls, long waitlists and hopelessness. If they need a therapist who takes insurance, the stories quickly become nightmares. (Maggie Mulqueen, 12/22)
We Need To Battle The Overdose Epidemic And COVID-19 Pandemic
The United States passed grim milestone after grim milestone over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. People were forced to live in the shadows, exist in isolation and were oftentimes driven to the brink of despair. As a result, our nation passed a different, albeit equally heartbreaking milestone: a record number of Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose. (Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, 12/22)
The Notorious Sackler Family, Owner Of Purdue Pharma, Points The Way To Reform
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon found that a bankruptcy court overstepped its authority by approving a settlement deal giving the Sacklers immunity from lawsuits in return for $4.5 billion — a fraction of the fortune they made by lying about the dangers of their synthetic painkiller, OxyContin. The family members have denied many of the allegations against them, and none has accepted full responsibility for ruined lives and economic damage from opioid addiction. They should have been stopped back in 2007, when Purdue admitted that it had falsely marketed OxyContin as nonaddictive and had submitted false claims to the federal government for medically unnecessary prescriptions. (12/22)
I Work In A Locked Psychiatric Ward. These Days, You Do Too
At parties, I used to explain to people who wanted to know what I do — I’m a psychiatrist — that caring for people with mental illness on a psych ward is like working in a place apart from the world. I don’t say that anymore. These days, the whole world feels like the psych ward. Everyone is discouraged by past harms and present fears. The people who need meds the most are the most reluctant to take them. Most everyone wants out, but many worry they will never leave, and everyone wonders how things will be on the other side. (Abraham Nussbaum, 12/23)
The Many Roles Of An Emergency Department Chaplain
"ACTIVE SHOOTER, multiple casualties" scrolled across my large screen TV. I dropped everything, grabbed my credentials, and headed toward the hospital. My phone rang as I approached the entrance. The emergency department coordinator blurted, "Dr. Tom, can you come NOW? We need you." I answered, "I'm already on my way. Be there shortly." (Rev. Thomas C. Tucker, 12/20)
The Star Tribune:
Don't Let Desperate Front-Line Heroes Struggle Alone
I feel as if two cultures are competing for our attention. As a physician, it can seem like I'm living in two starkly different worlds. The first world I see around me is one where people are tired after a couple of years of uncertainty and working to hold their heads above water. They avoid talking about COVID-19 and focus on the positive. They're in emotional survival mode. The second world I see around me is a world of continued suffering and pain in the hospitals and a feeling by those who are faced with it directly that their suffering is not recognized. (Erin Meyers, 12/22)