Mental Health Care Access Is A Feminist Issue

Every morning I take 50mg of Will To Live.

That’s not what it’s really called. It’s an anti-depressant with a long, polysyllabic clinical name but I prefer to think of it as my will to live. You see, a few years ago, I got hit with a bout of depression that had me sad, angry, and emotionally paralyzed. I was doing ok with the tasks of living but I wasn’t taking any joy in them at all. I finally reached the point where I summoned the shreds of my emotional energy to call my doctor and ask for help with my depression.

Because I have adequate insurance, I had access to a primary care practice and they gave me an appointment right away. And because I have adequate prescription drug coverage, I could fill a prescription for a name brand medication right away as well. My emotional well being didn’t come with a side of financial hardship.

It’s just luck that all of that is true.

There is not one of us who will make it through life without needing medication. Many of us will need long-term management of a chronic condition, like a mental health condition. And many of us are fucked over by insurers who don’t want to pay for it.

Back in the pre-Obamacare days I was looking for an individual health insurance policy because my job didn’t offer one. I was rejected for a plan because I took medication for ADHD. The next plan I applied for accepted me but excluded any mental health coverage, including the cost of my meds. The one thing I needed the most? They didn’t want to cover and there was no law saying they had to.

That’s different now. We have been parity for mental health coverage and prescription coverage is more comprehensive with the ACA regs in place. Cool, right? Everyone likes that, right?

Hahaha, no.

Republicans are still doing everything in their power to tear down the ACA and they just got a court ruling that will make it potentially easier to do so. The entire Republican Party has decided that they are under no obligation to ensure the mental and physical well being of Americans.

It’s depressing as fuck. And they don’t want you to get meds to treat the depression.

Having insurance can mean the difference between walking around with an untreated condition for years and getting treatment that helps bolster mental health. And when you consider how many women and minorities suffer from the negative emotional effects of living in a world that oppressed us, lack of access to mental health services is a critical intersectional feminist issue.

While we wait (again) on the date of Obamacare, we need to call state and federal lawmakers and ask them to shore up protections for our coverage for all health care but especially mental health. It’s too big a deal to ignore.

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