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Mental health

State should open to more therapists

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Compass Health has the monopoly in Washington state for treating all mental health patients on government medical aid. People receiving mental health care are supposed to have their privacy protected. Compass' building on Broadway in Everett provides its patients with no privacy shields from the observation of motorists on busy Broadway; the bus stop in front is not even sheltered from rain.
A former 15-year employee of Compass Health told me that when it began, the agency had many Masters-level therapists; it provided day centers such as Strawberry Fields, Marysville, where people with mental health issues could socialize. Now, the agency only keeps enough Masters-level therapists to satisfy insurance company regulations; most current therapists do not have advanced degrees. Strawberry Fields and other places were shuttered long ago, because day centers were not part of the state contract.
It is time for Washington state to open up to all licensed therapists the treatment of mental health patients on government medical aid. Some therapists will allot 5 or 10 percent of their caseloads to the poor, accepting the government's remuneration. This is a compassionate, just solution for individuals, families, and communities.
Rosemarie Dickson Cook

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