First Lady Sings the Mental Health Care Blues

First Lady Sings the Mental Health Care Blues

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Even Chirlane McCray . political figure, communications professional and wife of the mayor of New York – has been at her Wit’s End trying to find the proper resources for her daughter suffering from mental illness.

The New York Daily News, February 26, 2015  – For full article click here 
Chirlane McCray

I’m sorry, but the doctor isn’t taking new patients right now.”

It took me a moment to grasp what the receptionist was telling me. After hours of internet research, innumerable phone calls, and frustrating discussions with some well-meaning but distant professionals, the psychiatrist we had identified as a good fit for Chiara wouldn’t be able to help us.

I hung up the phone and put my head down on the table. My first impulse was to leave it there until the world started making sense again, but there was no time for that. My daughter needed help.

Our search had begun weeks earlier, when Chiara, then 18 years old, bravely revealed to Bill and me that she was suffering from anxiety, depression, and addiction.

I felt everything you’d expect a mother to feel: love, sadness, fear and a great deal of uncertainty. Our child was in terrible pain, but because it originated in her brain and not another part of her body, there wasn’t an established series of steps to follow. We had to trust the recommendations of people we didn’t really know and make some major decisions on our own.

Our family got lucky. We eventually found the right doctors and program for Chiara, and I’m happy to report that she is kicking butt at recovery.

But even after our crisis ended, I couldn’t forget how scared and helpless I felt during those first frantic weeks. So I continued my research, wanting to understand how other people manage in these situations, especially those who don’t have the same advantages as us.

The more I learned, the harder it was to avoid a troubling conclusion: Our mental health system is broken — and as a result, we are facing a national mental health crisis.  To continue reading click here. 


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