For far too long, the short comings of our mental health and addiction industries were only talked about in the counselor’s office. Usually it was a conversation with a parent discussion their frustration at insurance not approving treatment, them finding the right program but them not taking insurance and not being able to afford it, or them struggling to fund treatment again when it had previously failed multiple times over.
These conversations weren’t just with clients, but counselors and other mental health professionals also quietly lamenting about their dissatisfaction with the treatment industry and often times the downright shady practices that many people in this industry are on a daily basis. So why is it that you are really only hearing about this right now? That is because most people complaining about it are people that actually work for a treatment facility or an insurance company and them speaking out against it means jeopardizing their career. Not only that, but many clinicians rly on referrals in this industry so by speaking out against them they are jeopardizing their own practices. Lastly, the fear that if clinicians start speaking out, particularly about the short comings and lack of effectiveness of the treatment industry, it would make people lose confidence in treatment and not seek it out. Well that and that if they speak out against how ineffective it really is they will dry up their revenue source which is a major no-no in business.
So as a result, nobody has really said anything but I think we can’t sit idly by anymore. Despite all of the money we have thrown at substance abuse and suicide prevention, the rates keep going up and the access to care and affordability of care is getting worse along with it. In a nutshell, what we are doing to prevent it isn’t working and our ways of treating it have not gotten any better. In good conscience I can’t sit by anymore and not call out the obvious…which is our system is broken and we have to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves what are we doing that is wrong and what do we have to do to fix it.
This episode is my attempt to start this conversation and to layout where the problems are and what are the suggestions that I have to fix it. While this article is sure to stoke some debate, I hope it makes us all look in the mirror and make some real changes. Joining me in the studio as always is my co-host Bill “Billy Ray” Reed of the armchairqb.org.
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