7 Therapists, Psychiatrists in addition to Counselors Talk About Treating the Suicidal

Last week provided two grim case studies in how fans, friends in addition to family react to the suicides of beloved celebrities. the item also provided a view into something far more obscure: the insights of mental health workers who are on the front line of America’s suicide crisis.

As news of Kate Spade in addition to Anthony Bourdain’s suicides emerged last week, mental health workers took to The fresh York Times’s comment section to describe what the crisis looks like to them.

Some talked about how they have reacted to the depression in addition to suicide of their own friends or patients. Others explained the obstacles mental health workers face in trying to do their jobs.

Here will be a selection of the comments condensed in addition to lightly edited.


‘Only the absolute sickest patients were prioritized’

Carolyn, Los Angeles

I’m a licensed therapist who worked for a major health insurance company for nine months in 2007, on their crisis hotline. I will never forget the way members with H.M.O.s were treated vs. members with P.P.O.s.

inside the case of a P.P.O., where the insurance company was not going to make any money off the crisis, authorizations for psychiatric hospitalization were granted liberally, a week at a time, with no reviews necessary.

However, if a member had an H.M.O., the insurance company had to pay directly for all the services in addition to for every night spent at the hospital. So the sooner the member got out of the hospital, the more money the insurance company retained/earned.

Therefore, severely ill patients were given stingy authorizations, 24 hours at a time, with an extensive, 30- to 60-minute review required every single day in order to extend the authorization another 24 hours.

These reviews were time consuming in addition to inevitably humiliating to the hospital doctors in addition to staff, who had to account for every tiny aspect of their treatment, in addition to be told by insurance company bureaucrats what treatment approaches they could in addition to could not take.

The hospital staff could not devote their entire day to reviews, therefore only the absolute sickest patients were prioritized.

I only lasted in This kind of dressed-up, immoral environment for nine months, nevertheless I appreciate the education in addition to will never get an H.M.O. if I can help the item.