As a mother with grown children, I have watched as each of my kids have either gone to college or trade school, begun families and started the never-ending struggle of learning to make ends meet in a new career field. It can be tough.
If you work a couple of part times jobs or have a family and work for a firm that can’t afford great healthcare the struggle is real. Do I get my tooth fixed or buy eye glasses? What about braces, injuries, sports exams, hearing aids or other special needs? Even if you do have insurance, mental health is not always on your list of options. Counseling or medication for behavioral mental health is not a luxury for those suffering, it is a necessity. What do you do when you can’t afford to get the help you need to survive? What do you do when you can no longer ignore issues that disrupt you daily life an may even keep you from being able to work? Mental health just like physical health matters and should be cared for, but what do you do when you are barely making ends meet as it is?
As Columbia Community Mental Health (CCMH) is a private non-profit organization, we are often faced with helping those who live this crisis daily.
As the Director for Development at CCMH I am often asked “what is the money for?”. I feel like saying “How much time do you have?”, but the short answer is, Charity Care. From paying our front desk, or the employee helping underinsured people apply for Oregon Health plan, to the care coordinators working to find warm clothing, or housing for those who are going without; this is where the money goes. There are so many positions at CCMH that are not covered by insurance. This is where the money goes. To the anxious mother, depressed father, bullied child, homeless student, or recovering addict, this is where the money goes.
It has been so encouraging for me to watch as our clinicians, care coordinators, front desk and business center work to find funds to help, well, everyone who needs it. At CCMH we don’t want to turn you away. We want to find a way.
That’s where the money goes.
Director of Development
Columbia Community Mental Health