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    chuckgoldsteinChuck Goldstein

    Arizona‘s behavioral health system (BH) has failed us so many times it’s difficult for me to pick out a particularly one more egregious example than another. When our son first became symptomatic with his disease, which turned out to be you schizoaffective disorder, we had to fight the BH system. At first they denied him being seriously mental ill at all and, after two appeals, we were scheduled to go before an administrative judge when, for some unknown reason, somebody canceled the court hearing and he was finally determined to be SMI. Our son was assigned to a Choices ACT team and our experience with that ACT team was even worse, if anything, then before he was determined to be SMI. They did not provide the services he was entitled to, and the head of the ACT team (clinical director) was extremely unsympathetic, uncooperative, and frankly incompetent. Our son was evidently a “difficult“ patient and the ACT’s team solution was to decide, all of a sudden, that he was not sick and no longer seriously mentally ill.This assessment occurred during a regular staffing when they wanted five minutes alone with him before the beginning of the meeting. They then told us that they were canceling the meeting and that they had “determined” that he no longer was seriously mentally ill. They tried to refuse him services. This, of course, after years and years of him being denied services through our group health insurance on the private side due to non-compliance with parity law. This decision, by his “supportive” ACT team was eventually overturned after review by another psychiatrist.

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