Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Groupons for Mental Health Care?

So usually they want to feed me dinner, wax my bikini line, or teach me to para-sail.  Today, a Groupon caught my attention: there is one to provide mental health care service to military personnel and their family members-- a contribution to Groupon is met with a matching gift from an anonymous donor.

Somehow, it feels rather sad that our nation can afford so many things, but mental health care for our soldiers gets relegated to Groupon ads.  Still, I contributed, and thought you might like to as well.  

For the link, click HERE


Anonymous said...

i think it's sort of a cool way to collect donations to provide counseling. but i think returning vets are eligible for counseling at the va, right?

Anonymous said...

why not? i get groupons for dermatologists and internists. Are psychiatrists physicians or not? You can't have it both ways.

(Though I absolutely agree our country needs a better mental health situation. Perhaps the groupon is simply a means of gaining attention in a sorely needed area.)

Mary Katherine Parker said...

Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2:
Yes, military members are eligible to receive psychiatric and medical care through the Military Treatment Facilities and/or the VA.

Unfortunately, those systems are severely overloaded, resulting in several weeks' delay to be seen. There is a also a considerable amount of stigma attached to using these services so having access to mental health services outside the "system" can preserve their anonymity while providing the care they need.

In the civilian sector, patients in rural areas may not have a mental health provider nearby or there may also be stigma associated (such as in a small town).

I believe reducing or eliminating as many barriers as possible to mental health resources is important.

Maybe someday everyone will be enlightened and illness with the brain will be recognized and supported as illness with the body are now.