How Obamacare will affect your mental health care

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One thing is for sure, when you use your health insurance to obtain mental health services, the insurance company requires the therapist to provide a mental illness diagnosis. This mental illness diagnosis then becomes a part of your health record. Insurance also sets the parameter for what is allowed in treatment rather than the therapist and client choosing details such as length of each session, how many sessions, and in some cases which types of therapy they will reimburse.  

Some low fee therapists, such as myself, will see clients for a reduced price in order to not have to diagnose our clients as mentally ill. Clients can then turn in their bill to their insurance company afterward for reimbursement.

It is advisable to contact your insurance company prior to the first session if you are seeking third party reimbursement and ask the following questions:

    * What percentage of my bill will be covered for services obtained from an out-of-network provider?
    * How many sessions will be covered per calendar year?
    * What is my deductible?
    * What is my co-payment?

The problem with preventative mental health

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Sinead O’Connor has hit the nail on the head with the difficulties of preventative mental health care and that is the fact that no one really wants advice until it is too late.

Most of us know that the teen years are awkward and most people are busy trying to fit in. Many girls in the “real world” act like they see celebrities acting like and get angry when those of us who have already come out the other side offer well-meaning words of encouragement or caution. They view us as  judgmental or out of touch. 

One of the problems we therapists struggle with is that we are able to see the oncoming emotional or mental problems that these girls are headed for and we are standing in the middle of the road waving our arms at them and they are yelling at us to get out of the road. These girls only turn toward help once they are already hurting.

It is heartbreaking that some of the decisions that these young girls make can never be undone or taken back. Some emotional hurts will never go away. Some memories can never be erased. It is usually then that they turn to us for counseling, and don’t get me wrong, we are happy to help. We are just saddened that it takes years of struggling and pain before they are willing to seek us out.  

 

 

Miley Cyrus Vs. Sinead O’Connor

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So, it appears that a cyber brawl has broken out between Ms Cyrus and Ms O’Connor. It apparently started here: 

http://music-mix.ew.com/2013/10/02/sinead-oconnor-miley-cyrus-open-letter/

where Ms O’Connor offered some unsolicited, but genuine advice to Ms Cyrus. One quote from Ms O’Connor’s letter reminded me of a recent blog I wrote regarding young women believing the only value they have is their body. Ms. O’Connor states, “You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.”

 

Miley’s response is as follows:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/10/03/miley-cyrus-sinead-oconnor-twitter/?google_editors_picks=true

“Before Amanda Bynes…. There was….” before displaying a screengrab of what appeared to be O’Connor’s Twitter account (Handle: @vampyahslayah) which showed O’Connor asking for help. “does any1 know a psychiatrist in Dublin or wicklow who could urgently see my today please?” the screengrab reads. “Im really un-well…and in danger….i desperately need to get back on meds today,” the tweets read.

 

As a mental health professional I was horrorfied that Ms. Cyrus appeared so insensitive to the plight of another human being. It is not funny to mock or bully another human being especially as they are seeking help. 

As a woman I am disappointed at watching the industry use and manipulate Ms Cyrus and use her to further the idea that a woman’s only value is her body. Today I read a young woman who was upset at the idea that Ms Cyrus was being “slut-shamed”. Really? We now live in a society where girls are expected to develop and mature and faster and faster rates and we don’t dare call a duck a duck because it might hurt the duck’s feelings? 

I’m sorry, but GIRLS, you are worth more than that. You are of more value than just your vagina. You do not have to bare your body of give a piece of your most precious self in order to be accepted because, truth be told, if you have to give up yourself to be accepted, it isn’t really acceptance. You are worth more than that. I’m sorry that the film and music industry would have you believe otherwise.