How New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Crisis is Impacting People All Over the State – Generation Justice

[:en]
Many people care about it, but few people know what it is. I’m talking about the behavioral health crisis here in New Mexico, which has impacted thousands of us.

Some people have serious mental illnesses. Some are struggling with addiction or depression. Medicaid doesn’t always provide enough services for those in need. Many people have to rely so heavily on Medicaid that when behavioral health service charges are more than Medicaid can provide, they are left wondering, “Well, what then?” “How am I going to pay the extra services charges?” Some people even go bankrupt because Medicaid refuses to pay for their needs.

Policy makers say it will get better and that this crisis is going to come to an end. But New Mexican families have been hearing that for so long, they don’t believe it anymore… This makes me feel so bad for these families. They have dealt with so many barriers for good care. To me personally this doesn’t make me feel good. They are having health issues and they are struggling to get good health care.

People living with mental illnesses are often provided with a behavioral management worker, therapists, or doctors. Many have had their doctors and therapists changed often. These people aren’t comfortable changing doctors or therapists because, once they get comfortable, it’s hard to rebuild trust with a new one. What if they don’t like their new therapist or doctor? These worries can make people decide not to seek treatment at all, which can be dangerous for them and their loved ones. There is also the worry that they might have to be hospitalized.

This crisis worsened in 2013, when many of the companies who were providing behavioral healthcare were shut down. Now we don’t have enough places for treatment or the funding to maintain them. Most of these companies were closed because they were accused of fraud. Medicaid funding was also frozen. Companies did not receive a fair crime investigation and later many were found innocent of the accusations. How are behavioral health providers supposed to keep running if the majority of their patients rely on Medicaid?

What we really need now are more health providers! We need more providers who are willing to accept Medicaid.

Our most vulnerable people are those who have a lot of mental health issues. Our community should be lifting our voices so legislators can hear us. The people with mental illness can’t treat themselves. They need help! The state needs to take charge in stopping this crisis.

Hopefully somebody will actually stand up and realize what is happening. Hopefully that person has enough power to have their voice lifted and heard by others who do not know this is happening. But until then, and until we see real change, what are the people with mental illness going to do? [:es]By Edwin Rivera

Many people care about it, but few people know what it is. I’m talking about the behavioral health crisis here in New Mexico, which has impacted thousands of us.

Some people have serious mental illnesses. Some are struggling with addiction or depression. Medicare doesn’t always provide enough services for those in need. Many people have to rely so heavily on Medicare that when behavioral health service charges are more than Medicare can provide, they are left wondering, “Well, what then?” “How am I going to pay the extra services charges?” Some people even go bankrupt because Medicare refuses to pay for their needs.

Policy makers say it will get better and that this crisis is going to come to an end. But New Mexican families have been hearing that for so long, they don’t believe it anymore… This makes me feel so bad for these families. They have dealt with so many barriers for good care. To me personally this doesn’t make me feel good. They are having health issues and they are struggling to get good health care.

People living with mental illnesses are often provided with a behavioral management worker, therapists, or doctors. Many have had their doctors and therapists changed often. These people aren’t comfortable changing doctors or therapists because, once they get comfortable, it’s hard to rebuild trust with a new one. What if they don’t like their new therapist or doctor? These worries can make people decide not to seek treatment at all, which can be dangerous for them and their loved ones. There is also the worry that they might have to be hospitalized.

This crisis worsened in 2013, when many of the companies who were providing behavioral healthcare were shut down. Now we don’t have enough places for treatment or the funding to maintain them. Most of these companies were closed because they were accused of fraud. Medicare funding was also frozen. Companies did not receive a fair crime investigation and later many were found innocent of the accusations. How are behavioral health providers supposed to keep running if the majority of their patients rely on Medicare?

What we really need now are more health providers! We need more providers who are willing to accept Medicare.

Our most vulnerable people are those who have a lot of mental health issues. Our community should be lifting our voices so legislators can hear us. The people with mental illness can’t treat themselves. They need help! The state needs to take charge in stopping this crisis.

Hopefully somebody will actually stand up and realize what is happening. Hopefully that person has enough power to have their voice lifted and heard by others who do not know this is happening. But until then, and until we see real change, what are the people with mental illness going to do? [:]