For the Mentally Ill, Finding Treatment Grows Harder

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To the outside world, it came across as mood swings and anger. But Regina Cullison would later be told by psychiatrists she struggled with depression and anxiety—and that she needed help. And that is where her trouble began and ended.

According to her mother, there were few psychiatrists in the county who took private insurance. When Ms. Cullison lost her job as a dentist’s assistant, and with it her insurance, she switched to a nonprofit facility. Doctors came and went, and none stayed long enough to establish a regular pattern of treatment.

After two years, Ms. Cullison abandoned her search for professional help and tried marijuana. Her mother, Carolyn Cullison, who is the director of a mental-health peer support group, said that helped push away the demons. But in May, while living together, the pair argued. Ms. Cullison apologized, retreated to a bedroom and shot herself. She was 26.

As hard as it might be to acknowledge having a mental-health illness, finding professional help can be even harder.

by Gary Fields and Jennifer Dooren, The Wall Street Journal

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