I am now retired but was a practicing clinical social worker for 30
years. Regarding what services should be included in Green Mountain
Care, mental health services are an essential part. These services
should be encouraged because they not only increase emotional
health but they also foster physical health: mental health issues
are often are the seeds of bad self care and chronic illnesses, as
well as affecting others.
Just imagine the infant whose mother has a post partum
depression. Being proactive about treating the mother significantly
effects the development of the infant and the whole family.
In addition, starting from the point of diagnosis of significant
physical health problems, for instance cancer, many people need
mental health treatment to cope, follow through on treatment and
make recommended life changes. Collaboration between primary care
physicians and psychotherapists is necessary and should make this a
priority rather than an afterthought.
Also in the current system insurance often has high co-pays that
create a big barrier especially for mental health visits that may
occur weekly for a period of time. Our new system has the
potential to be much better than the one we now have.
Of course the need for mental health care within Green Mountain
Care should not exclude other types of care such as dental and
vision care. It's all interconnected and necessary.
Cathy Thomas, Mt. Tabor, Vt.