Opinion

Medicaid and mental illness

To the Editor,

As one who suffers from chronic illness and receives Medicaid, I have little faith in those who make the laws and are out of touch with the problems of their citizens. I am both an employee and patient at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison. (Yes, I have a mental illness, and be damned the stigma that comes with the many disorders that are mental illness.)

There are so many that have so little in everything—monetary resources, caring families, quality housing (if any), true friends, proper general health care, etc., and even faith. I very lucky and very scared. Very scared of a relapse, the next trigger, that bad day most people could, would just shrug off, bringing upon the onset of any of my four diagnoses. I am very scared for my fellow patients, my fellow sufferers who barely live a full, quality life and for those we may never know, barely surviving the innumerable torments these inflictions bring.

Without quality Medicaid coverage, the stress and pain this would bring upon the individual, the family, is immeasurable. How many families can emotionally survive such stress and not fall apart? How many children will suffer directly as their care degrades, or indirectly as marriages may fail, as they see parents’ struggle, fighting unwinnable battles. There is no cure for mental illness, only management of many of these disorders. How will we/they manage with less resources? How many will lose homes? How many will be forced to lower-grade housing? Pain that is preventable—now!

The moral and ethical issues here, applying to the great American culture, will affect generations. All our neighbors and brothers. There is so much more I would or could say. But arrogance in our capital rules, and our words and prayers will be dust in the wind, falling on the deaf ears of those living in a separate world. Having our own country fighting against us is deplorable.

 

Glenn Slaby,

New Rochelle

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