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Finding mental health services for those unable to pay is crucial

Aug 19, 2015 Melanie Schrock, Riverton

Editor:

I read the editorial on mental health issues. You are completely right as far as individuals and families who are desperate to find mental health centers are concerned, or even individuals who provide a service.

Our family has worked with and tried to provide for a family member for more than 15 years. As long as there was insurance or cold, hard cash, then it worked --sort of.

If the problem is just substance abuse, then you can find many places to turn. But once an individual with serious mental issues loses his income, medical insurance, and has nowhere to live, now what?

We have found our family member unable to get even an evaluation (no money or insurance). We have managed to raise enough money to pay for the two evaluations that are required for even being considered for placement in a well-run, constructive program.

At first the court system, when asked about help, just shrugged its shoulders and blamed the support system in our state. Thanks to a devoted mother and family support, calls have been made, money spent, and lots of personal time invested, but we are now able to see progress in the system.

For whatever reason, the systems fall way short of time, money and communication among agencies, for those individuals without family support, are stuck over and over again, loading our detention center.

This only leads to their problems in our cities and small towns. Mental conditions in our society are a cold, hard fact.

I recently read a service provider's statement in the ads for our county fair. "Free visits, no charges for anyone who has neither insurance or cash."

Give me a break. Until this page was printed we were unable to get anyone in the court system who knew they even existed.

Providers, please show those who need you your sliding scale and free visits, and don't forget your non-refusal of persons without the cash. Yes, and let me add that most of those we have come in contact with will not go into a jail setting to be available.

I challenge all service providers and our court system to show that they can and will provide for those without means to pay.

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