A diagnosis of mental illness such as bi-polar disorder of schizophrenia can be challenging.
Help is available for people or family members going through such an experience, but what about the financial toll? The impact over time can be devastating financially. Especially when it involves young adult children who may be aging off of their parents health insurance. Even with ‘good’ health insurance and money saved for emergencies, the out-of-pocket expenses for doctor visit copays, hospitalization and prescription drug costs can mount quickly. Many family members will go bankrupt helping a loved one get a diagnosis and treatment.
After one family did face such dire circumstances, they started a Go Fund Me page to help families in need at such a stressful time- stressful emotionally and financially. You can see Laura Pogliano’s Go Fund Me page and read for yourself the story of her late son’s struggle with mental illness.
Laura works to help other families dealing with the financial impact of a mental illness diagnosis. It seems the grants she gives are small, but they remind us that little things can have a big impact. Financial support not only helps keep the lights on and the fridge with food, but it helps people ‘see’ mental illness. That kind of outright support helps remove the stigma of mental illness. In many ways, it sends a message of, “I see you.” Such a statement can be powerful support.
You can read more about Laura in this short piece from O magazine. Mental Health resources are available at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. You can also contact Unity House for information on our programs for adults living with or recovering from mental illness. To speak with Harlan Hall, Director of the Unity House PROS program, call (518) 274-2607 ext. 4172.