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 hospitals—or in jail—before they can get help.
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