mental health parity. it’s something i’ve wanted for so long now and we still don’t have it. all of my complaints about medications and big pharma and insurance companies are worthy complaints (and i’ll continue them) but first we need to break the mental illness stigma. our world still treats mental illness as a problem not an illness. and therefore people think the mentally ill somehow create their problems. most people actually believe it’s something we should be able to control. i’m not saying mental illness isn’t treatable-it can be-with patience, understanding and the right meds, therapy, etc. but it’s not a problem or something we need to control. millions of people like me pay more for a psychiatrist than we do a family physician. we pay more for our anti-depressants or mood stabilizers than we do a painkiller or antibiotic. this is wrong and it’s time we do something about it. we need mental health parity and having it will help break the mental illness stigma.
for more than 35 years former first lady rosalynn carter has been fighting this battle. recently she teamed up with the son of the late senator paul wellstone, david wellstone, and patrick kennedy to push for mental health insurance legislation. carter, wellstone and kennedy hope to win passage for the “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act,” that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies include both. under current law, insurance barriers often preclude many individuals from seeking treatment for mental health and addiction illnesses. approximately 65 percent of americans who have some form of private health insurance indicate that they are saddled with higher co-pays and deductibles, physician visit limits, and lower annual and lifetime caps for mental health and addiction treatment services compared with medical or surgical benefits. i have personally spent over 20,000 dollars treating my illness. my private insurance company (blue cross/blue shield) does not cover most of my mental health related charges.
please take a moment to watch this video and here’s the link to pass on to friends and family. rosalynn carter’s words are very true:
and please take a few minutes to write your local congress members and tell them why they need to support H.R. 1424, The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act. if you don’t know what to say- here’s one simple line for you: it’s vital to pass this legislation to ban insurance discrimination against people with mental health disorders. if you don’t know where to go to contact your congress member click HERE and you will find the bill information- to the left, under “write your officials”, enter your zip code and follow the instructions. this is so very important and it brings tears to my eyes- please take the time to write congress and ask your friends and family to write congress.