30 Second Survey: First Experiences With Mental Health Services

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Thank you for your responses to our last 30 Second Survey question, “What  was your experience the first time you accessed mental health services for yourself or a loved one?”

Survey responders said their first contact was with a health care provider, counselor, behavioral health center or mental health hospital, while a few called NAMI. Reports of first experiences with mental health services ranged from excellent or good to bureaucratic, unprofessional or even traumatic.

A sampling of your comments:

  • “I took my son to (the mental health clinic). I thought he had overdosed on drugs and had no idea he had a serious mental illness.”
  • “Experience at the behavioral health center was not positive. Staff seemed bored and not sympathetic to pain family was experiencing.”
  • “Had my mental health needs been better addressed early on, I believe I would have saved needless years of suffering.”
  • “Excellent, except that this was before parity, so the HMO wanted $500 a day for psychiatric hospitalization.”
  • “(The hospital’s) ER nurses and physicians are untrained in mental health, rude to patients, do not practice patient confidentiality, and treat patients like criminals.”

Would you like to share your experience the first time you accessed mental health services for yourself or a loved one? Click here to take the survey.

Click here to take this month’s 30 Second Survey: What has your experience been in a crisis situation with ambulance staff? Fire department crews? How could they improve the experience?