Treatment center rep advocates proactive stance on counseling
By: Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A bill in the legislature would make businesses cover mental health issues the same way as physical ailments. But a group of mental health experts says the coverage does no good if people can't or won't seek help, especially those who are in denial or suffer addiction problems.
Bill LaBine is the executive director of the Jackie Nitschke Center, an in-and-out patient treatment facility in Green Bay. He says people who seek help will get funding, rather than those who tend to wait on the government or insurance companies to help out.
LaBine will address the “stigma” problem on a panel at today’s “Making Parity Real” symposium in Green Bay. The forum is intended to be a sort of fact-finding mission sponsored by Community Advocates, an anti-poverty effort from Milwaukee. Its director, David Reimer, says the group wants ideas on how to make access to coverage “real” and not just something on paper.
Reimer says it’s great to have laws on the books, but there are other things that have to occur so that people who have addiction issues or a mental illness can get the help they need. He says it doesn’t do any good to have the right to see an addiction treatment provider if there aren't any around.
Community Advocates will host similar symposiums later this year in Wausau, La Crosse, and Eau Claire.