One of the problems neither the new health care bill nor the mental health parity law that kicks into full effect in another month or so will address is a growing problem in America’s mental health system — the lack of professionals who can see you now. The problem is most seriously felt within psychiatry, where the number of medical students who choose psychiatry over a different medical specialty continues to shrink.
A friend of mine who currently sees a psychiatric nurse for her medications wanted to switch to a psychiatrist so that she can try to get off of Effexor, a commonly prescribed antidepressant than can be extremely challenging to get off. She lives north of a major metropolitan area in the U.S. and has decent health insurance.
So she started the thankless process every American faces when trying to find a new specialty provider — making endless phone calls to the list of “approved” providers from her insurance company.