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My daughter has bi-polar illness. She can often tell when she is dropping into an episode. She has health care insurance through Medicare. Yet often when she gets sick, no one, including our public health agencies such as Cascadia and Project Respond which we tried, want to see her and help her keep from spiraling down. She did not have the right kind of insurance for them. And she was willing to get help. She quickly became so sick that she no longer was willing to get treatment. Her sickness had taken over and she no longer thought she was ill or needed treatment or medications. Even with me as an advocate, it took us two years and her losing her home for someone to take her serious enough to provide the treatment she needed, which by that time took six months of in-patient treatment. She has also gone from a homeowner to subsidized housing, costing the tax payers hundreds of thousands more than if she could have found services early on. Until we have a system where everyone, regardless of insurance or lack of, can get the ongoing help and medications they need, we are going to have incidents like this one. Lives will be literally lost, even though many have "lost" their lives long before.
We need to make sure services are available early on for everyone. We need to have a way to get both emergency and ongoing treatments for those who have fallen through the cracks before they become "eminent" even if that means forced commitment. (My daughter is thankful that we finally got her civilly committed.) Until we do, this will happen again and again.
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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