HUGE Barriers to Seeking TreatmentJan 24 2014
Kaiser is great. They offer comprehensive care in a convenient one-stop-shopping experience. Despite this, their mental healthcare needs to improve drastically to meet the standards they've set in other arenas. As a mental health patient, I feel like a second class citizen. For example: 1) Limited Locations: There is a Kaiser walking distance from my employer, but this location doesn't offer mental healthcare. Instead, I need to go to one of 3 extremely inconvenient locations to see my doc. By bus, the closest one take 1.5 hours with a 10 minute walk (no sidewalks, during the winter it's a bitch). 2) Inconvenient Appointments:My old psychiatrist had Saturday hours a few times per month, extended workday hours, etc. not at Kaiser: M-F until 4:30 only. And setting an appointment takes months. Additionally, I can make an appt with my phone for everything except mental health. It might seem petty, but for people who already face stigma and barriers to seeking treatment, it needs to be as convenient as possible. Why can't I make an appointment on my phone app? When I need to make an appt, I have to call during the workday (and risk coworkers overhearing my call) to schedule an appointment. Half the time, I forget as a result! I really think Kaiser needs to step up their game. They had to pay California $4M for issues relating to providing adequate mental health. Clearly, whoever is at the top is not setting this as a priority for the organization.