Share this article

print logo

Letter: Many with mental illness are falling through cracks

Many with mental illness are falling through cracks

I am writing in response to the March 24 letter, “Mentally ill people deserve humane care.” The doctor from Lake Shore Behavioral Health is right that realistic options for housing and treatment are badly needed.

My son was in need of treatment for depression. As an adolescent he went to Baker Victory. Once an adult, we had to find a new counselor and psychiatrist. I made an appointment at Lake Shore Behavioral. My son and the counselor got along well. We discussed his depression and I mentioned he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, at age 10. We were given another appointment. When we went, the counselor told us that Lake Shore did not deal with Asperger’s and we had to find a new counselor and doctor.

Now we have to drive to Derby (about 14 miles one way) for mental health services. My son does not drive, so we are his only means of transportation. Medicaid does not allow you to see both counselor and doctor on the same day. My son’s depression was his main problem. He had several suicide attempts. The psychiatric doctors at Erie County Medical Center told us that Asperger’s can mask other symptoms of mental illness. No one at Lake Shore seemed to know that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they have helped many people, but many more still need help.

Mary Jo Smith

West Seneca