The Mental Health Equality Act, Senate Bill 221, went into effect in July, requiring health insurers to offer follow-up appointments for mental health and substance use patients within 10 days of their previous session.
The American Psychological Association recommends weekly treatment for people with depression. That’s twice as many people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
This month-long strike is about patient care. Kaiser’s therapists want the organization to provide the same level of care for mental health as medical services, according to a NUHW statement.
Impressive therapists miss multiple paychecks because they hold their terms so tightly.
Kimberly Hollingsworth-Horner, Kaiser’s therapist in Fresno, said, “Kaiser stopped risking their patients’ lives and worked with therapists to create a system that gives them the care they need to get better. Until then, we will continue our strike.
Hollingsworth Horner, who is also a member of the negotiating committee, said it was “hard” to go without pay for a month, but compared to the months of waiting between treatment sessions that patients have endured for years. He said, “Nothing.”
California fined Kaiser $4 million for delays and denials of mental health care in 2013, but mental health care waiting times have not improved.
In its fact sheet on the strike, NUHW said Kaiser was unable to increase its workforce despite a surge in demand for mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, Kaiser seems to be a bleeding clinician. Between June 2021 and May 2022, he left 377 people in the Northern California area, according to the union. More than 660 people left the company.
In a NUHW survey of more than 200 retiring clinicians, 80% felt their workload was unsustainable and 70% said they were “in line with standard of care and medical need.” He said he was unable to “treat the patient.”
Instead of quitting, picketline clinicians are working to change how Kaiser’s mental health department is managed.
Psychologist Melody Bumgardner, who works at the Kaiser Santa Clara and Campbell satellites, has worked at Kaiser for 22 years and says the organization’s working conditions were good during her first decade at Kaiser, but the conditions and turnover rate were It has gotten worse in recent years.
“When I first started working here, we were well staffed,” Bum Gardner said Thursday at the picket line outside Kaiser San Jose. It was difficult, people wanted to work here, people stayed for a long time, but in the last 10 years the majority of people who joined the company usually stayed here for 3 or 5 years. I quit a year ago.”
Bum Gardner has stayed with the company long because she values working with the “diverse population” of patients she sees, and the relationships she has built with colleagues over the past 20 years. We would like to see real change as Kaiser uses its “huge resources” to provide timely mental health services to its members.
“We are standing up for Kaiser with this strike and standing up for patients who have been denied proper mental health care for too long,” said Jeffrey Chen, a licensed clinical social worker at Kaiser in San Francisco. Harding said.
Despite Wednesday’s stalemate, Kaiser has refused to schedule an additional negotiating session with the union and there are no further negotiations currently scheduled. could not comment on the negotiations.