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How Long Does it Take to Get Psychiatric Help?

Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)
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Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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Brian Kelly is a Florissant native who returned to KMOX in 2009 after...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A whistleblower is making headlines for claiming that some veterans have to wait at least a month to see a psychiatrist at the VA medical center in St. Louis.

But how long does it take a civilian to get psychiatric help?

According to Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri President Mark Utterback, a long wait to see a mental health professional, especially for new patients, is not unusual.

Utterback tells KMOX it can take three to four weeks to get in to see a doctor, and even longer if you have poor insurance, no insurance or Medicaid.

“Many psychiatrists don’t want to accept the rate of pay that Medicaid offers, so they either don’t take Medicaid patients, or they take a limited number,” he says.

Utterback says for many of the non-insured, people have to become very ill and wind up in hospitalsor in jailbefore they can get help.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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