Letters to the Editor

August 31, 2014

The Steinbergs are "lucky"

Re "A Story of Overcoming," (Page A1, Aug. 31): There is no denying the Steinbergs went through Hell, but they are fortunate in one regard: that Jordana's illness surfaced and was addressed while she was a minor and that they had the means to send her anywhere, including out of state, for treatment. When mental illness develops in young adulthood, as it often does, parents' ability to help is hampered on multiple fronts by both California's laws and inadequate services. Even when adult children are severely impaired, without their consent, parents have no ability even to participate in, much less enforce, desperately needed treatment; and after age 26, even when still, in fact, totally dependent, they are booted from parents' insurance policies. Even WITH insurance, finding high-quality, integrated mental health care (in which psychiatrists and therapists treating the same patient actually communicate) in California is a nightmare. I, too, speak from experience. -- Constance McLennan, Rocklin

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