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Elizabeth.” “This house was built with her laughing(3)

Time:2019-03-12 22:39Shoes websites Click:

state Mental Health Treatment insurance

Sheree Lowe, vice president of behavioral health for the California Hospital Association, said health plans often require reauthorization every five days for hospitalized patients receiving mental health or substance abuse treatment, even for evidence-based care that routinely takes 30 days. In some cases, clinicians have to wait up to two hours on hold in order to get that authorization, she said.

“That doesn’t happen if you go in with a fractured hip or with pneumonia,” she said. “It’s just approved.”

Despite having to leave school for months at a time to return home, Elizabeth tried to maintain her grasp on normal life, her mother said. She started a podcast, helped write and direct a play, attended a journalism class at UC Berkeley. She took a job at the local Barnes & Noble. Seong would drop her off, watching Elizabeth overcome paralyzing anxiety attacks to get out of the car. After spending most of a year trying to get better at home, her parents said, Elizabeth returned to college in the fall of 2017. Back in Massachusetts, she was quickly hospitalized twice. Her parents said that the doctors who treated her there diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder, which was subsequently added to her Kaiser medical record.

In October 2017, the Tubbs Fire devoured thousands of homes and claimed dozens of lives. As it moved closer to the hills around the home she’d designed, Elizabeth’s mother hosed down her roof and bargained with God: “Take my house. Bring my child back.”

The house was spared. Elizabeth got sicker. Around Thanksgiving, Elizabeth’s parents brought her home from college again. They made plans to send her to a residential treatment program starting in January 2018. It would cost them $45,000 out of pocket. But they were desperate.

On Dec. 4, 2017, Elizabeth emailed her Kaiser psychiatrist that her parents would be sitting in on her appointment that afternoon. “There is a lot to cover since we last met,” she said.

“It’s a 30 min visit to remind you and my part at this time is to refill your meds in the transition to your more intensive treatment,” the records show that he responded via email.

That afternoon, Seong sent the psychiatrist an email, as well, asking for more intensive services: “This is very critical and important for Elizabeth’s well being because of her acute symptoms,” she wrote. “She will be home more than a month and she needs an intensive outpatient therapy that is more than once a week. I hope you understand how critical and urgent this is.”

He responded that he understood, and that Elizabeth could return to the Intensive Outpatient Program for a few hours a day or try to see a new therapist through an outside contractor. “That is the options I have available,” he wrote.

Elizabeth did begin seeing a new therapist. Meanwhile, Seong developed a protocol when she had to be away from her daughter: She’d check in with Elizabeth via text, if no response came within 15 minutes, she would call twice. If no one answered, she’d race home.

On Jan. 10, 2018, Seong felt hopeful. Elizabeth had texted that she was drinking coffee and reading. Elizabeth hadn’t picked up a book for months. They made plans to buy new glasses frames after Seong came home from work.

In between texts to her mother, Elizabeth also sent one to a friend, her parents said. Its message, in essence: Send the police to collect my body. I don’t want my parents to find me.

Seong arrived home that evening to find the front door open. Elizabeth was still alive when emergency responders rushed in, too late. By then, the medical records show, she had experienced severe brain damage. Her body lived for four more months. Today, in front of an altar of roses and orchids and candles and baby pictures, a burgundy velvet box holds Elizabeth’s ashes. Seong says she can’t bear to part with the box. It’s all she has left.

A few times, after Elizabeth’s death, Seong heard the piano strumming by itself. At first her husband didn’t believe her. Then he heard it, too.

Just in case —just in case — it’s her daughter, Seong always stops and says, “Thank you, Elizabeth.”

“This house was built with her laughing,” she says. “And now it’s silent.”

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, there is help available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) for resources and support. Free, confidential, available 24/7. Text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line — 741-741 — to reach a trained crisis counselor. Free, confidential, available 24/7. For more information and resources, visit:https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/

This story — supported by a grant from the California Health Care Foundation — is the second in a series exploring the challenges Californians face in the pursuit of mental health care.

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.


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