THE MENTAL HEALTH SCAM
LEE S. GOLDSMITH, M.D., LLB
In recent weeks I have heard advertisements for call-in mental health counseling and was scared as to the potential for abuse and devastating results, for those vulnerable patients who call and fail to get the help they need.
A psychologist can provide therapy but not prescribe medications. Only a physician can do that, and as far as mental health is concerned, prescriptions should come from psychiatrists who are physicians and trained mental health professionals.
A psychologist can only provide therapy to patients in the state where they are licensed. A psychiatrist can only provide prescriptions to patients in the state where they are licensed. You as the consumer can review the credentials and know who is providing care.
We know that in addition to the psychologist and psychiatrist there are social workers who have had some training as well as mental health aids who are being provided as mental health care givers. There aren’t enough psychologists and psychiatrists available.
Every one of these online entities want your insurance money or your cash.
WHO IS GIVING CARE ONLINE?
- Beware online “therapy” sites that are nothing more than money-making operations.
- One psychiatrist with a bunch of nurse practitioners prescribing medication with little or no knowledge of the patient or mental health training. Drug mills.
- “Therapists” with no training but answering the line and you have no ability to check the credentials that they are giving you.
- “Therapists” who are not in the State where you live and are practicing without a license or any training.
- Get mental health assistance when it is needed. Don’t hesitate.
- Check the credentials of the individual supplying that care.
- Make sure that they are licensed in your state.
- Be wary of those who just want to prescribe medications. All medications have side effects.
REMEMBER: THERE IS THE NATIONAL SUICIDE HOT LINE WHICH IS VERY PROFESSIONAL. STAY SAFE AND STAY WELL.