My last post was a lengthy one, so I wanted to give you a short list of resources and words to say to get the eval you need to get the diagnoses that give you the help you need. (Also, if you are already covered by insurance please go straight to #3.)
- Your Local Sliding Scale Mental Health Clinic: I know this is a frustrating one. Funding is tight, so resources are tight. Scheduling is hard and generally brief and your therapist is likely overworked and overwhelmed. Be your own advocate, ask for the eval anyway. Use words that explain why you need the eval, not why you want the eval. For example: “I am really struggling with concentration and I believe it’s more than depression. I was researching ADHD and I have shown (insert symptoms described) my whole life. Do you have a psychologist on staff that could do a neuropsych eval with me, or one you could refer me to?” And if they say no…
- Your Local Sliding Scale Health and Wellness Clinic: Try the same thing as above, with a little extra something about that your mental health clinic did not have the resources or connections available to refer you to a specialist.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace/Medicaid: If you are lucky enough to be in an expansion state, you may likely qualify for medicaid. If not, and you don’t already have insurance, please go to healthcare.gov and apply for coverage. There is a phone number on the website that you can call if you’d rather apply via phone. They will help you through it. Please beware of imitation sites, only use healthcare.gov. Once you qualify, call your insurer and ask them where the nearest psychologist is in your area and what their rules are for specialists (do you need a referral or can you make an appointment on your own, for example).
- Your Local Health Department and/or Dial 211: If you are still struggling, nothing so far has worked, and you are at a loss for where else you could turn, call your local health office or dial 211. You can visit their websites here: http://healthfinder.gov and here http://211.org. (I find that 211, for me, can be frustrating only because I am very adept at researching and finding services, so I tend to be more aware of the services still active in my area than they are. If this does not describe you, 211 can be a fantastic resource.)
- Your Local Department of Vocational Rehab (DVR): Nothing is working, you can’t hold down a job, and you’ve tried everything above. Or maybe you did try some of the things above and they are working, but you’re still having trouble maintaining employment. Then call DVR. Not only can they help you get the evaluations you need to identify what is getting in your way, they can also assist you with accomodations and a plan for your future. You can find your local office by searching department of vocational rehab with your city and state. Or call your local department of family services or department of workforce services office and they can get you pointed in the right direction.
You don’t have to stay stuck. You have a choice. “No” is just your next stepping stone to yes.