Yesterday, I was a speaker at the University of Maryland's Cultural Diversity Day.
The theme was Urban Trauma: Understanding Its Impact and Navigating Access to Mental Health Care. I thought I would share some of my slides with our readers. And now I know how to put a PowerPoint Presentation into a blog.
I live in a large city, and I have not found it particularly difficult to find a psychiatrist. I have found it very difficult to find a good psychiatrist, however. I have been in a position where I had no job and no money, and I was able to access MHMR. The care was pretty horrible. Also, they are limited to a formulary (I think that's what it's called) so they can only prescribe certain medications. So, if something worked in the past that's not on their list, then tough shit.
You have another option in my city if you're indigent and that is through the county. I also tried that option. At the time you had to get a card which allowed you to access health care through county facilities. It was probably a little better, because the psychiatrists weren't as limited in the meds they could prescribe and you're getting care through an academic center. But, the drawback is that you're getting care through an academic center so you are probably getting psychiatric care from a resident who may not know yet what they're doing and the psychiatrists change periodically and move on. So, not real sure about continuity of care in that setting.
If you're really, really broke in my city you can access care through Health Care for the Homeless. They were great. The best care out of all of them. The physicians weren't overtired and or jaded. They were mostly volunteers, so they wanted to be there. A pretty amazing organization.
If you have resources in my city it's also not that difficult to find a psychiatrist with an opening if you know where to look, which some people don't. Probably the patients who have it the worst are those who have to rely on insurance. Not very many in private practice take insurance.
I'm a weirdo. I live in a large city, but my psychiatrist is in a rural area hours away.
Actually, my cash pay psychiatrist is the best out of all of them. But, out of those who provide indigent care Health Care for the Homeless is the best. If we could replace MHMR with an organization as compassionate as Health Care for the Homeless great things would happen.
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