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Question:

I really don’t know if this is a type of question you can help me with, I hope so. I have been fighting with major depression, anxiety and panic attacks for over six years now. I am unable to keep a job because of this. I have been on state assistance- medical something like three times( all three times very briefly). Right now I am what is called GAU which I get from the state. I cannot find anyone in my area that will take the GAU medical for mental health. I have been looking for several months now and nothing. I tried to commit suicide in march of 2007, and was rushed to the local ER. I can feel myself getting worse and desperately need treatment. Please if you, yourself can help me, or know anything/anyone that can help me I would be so very grateful. thank you.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

I agree that you need help immediately and must not delay. There is help out there for you and your assistance will pay. I assume that you are on some form of disability and that could be from Social Security or from your last employer. In addition you have either Medicare, Medicaid or both.

Of course, I have no way of knowing where you live but most communities (If not all of them) have health centers and agencies that also provide mental health services. There are also agencies and centers that provide only mental health services. Many of these are not for profit organizations that accept the type of assistance you recieve or are entitled to: Medicare, Medicaid or something else. Finally, there are public hospitals that have out patient mental health services. You are entitled to services.

First, the local Emergency Room you were rushed to when you were suicidal must have information about mental health services in the community. I am somewhat surprised that they did not connect you with those services when you were in the ER. Many ER’s employ social workers whose job it is to connect patients with necessary services in the community. You should go there and inquire or call and inquire.

A second approach you can take is to call the State Board of Mental Health and ask the names, addresses and phone numbers of the mental health agencies in your community that provide services and take your GAU (I do not know what GAU is).

A third approach is to call the phone number listed on the GAU card that you should have and inquire about the mental health agencies in your area that are available to you. If you do not have your card, call information.

Fourth, you could do a search on the Internet for the mental health services available in your state, city or town.

Finally, if you have a family doctor you should see him immediately and have him prescribe medication and refer you to a treatment center.

It is important that you act quickly to get the help you need. That help should include medication to relieve the symptoms of your depression and psychotherapy to help you learn how to cope with the problems that worsen your depression.

I want to urge you to take what ever steps will allow you to get help in the quickest way possible. It might be that going to the same Emergency Room and reporting to them that you fear that you could become suicidal again if you do not get help is the quickest way to go.

Get help Now.

Good luck.

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Comments
  • Helen

    I know it's very hard to even make the phone calls or inquiries that are mentioned by Dr. Schwartz. You must be feeling overwhelmed with the whole situation.

    I find it helps to break down what you need to do into small lists -- start with a few phone calls to find out if your ER does have support - but also let them know how hard it is for you to ask or get up the energy to keep making calls. They may have someone who can help with that. Your local mental health association probably has advocates to help you get what you need. Find the phone number and plan to call when you are feeling strong -- call --- in the long run Human support is the best. Keep calling until you get someone who will be a tangible help to you. God bless

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