Jay is a senior in high school who struggles with depression. He has been experiencing difficulty because he manages multiple schedules with his care team. On more than one occasion, Jay has gone to the wrong provider, at the wrong time, when he was supposed to be somewhere else. Jay has also been prescribed the same medication from multiple providers. Although he didn’t use all the medication, the combined dosage that was prescribed could have been lethal. Jay constantly felt overwhelmed organizing his schedule, appointments, medications, homework, and academics.
Jay was frustrated because he felt he was committing time, effort and money to get treatment for his depression but the system continuously kept failing him. His lack of motivation was a barrier to access, coordinating appointments, telling each care provider what the other said, and being responsible for multiple medications. The worst part was when something new triggered his emotions, he would have to schedule appointments with his doctor, psychologist, and psychiatrist to update the entire team. He felt like he was constantly repeating himself.
He thought it would be a lot easier if they could just talk to each other, but that was not possible because they worked with different clinics and in different cities. This meant the lack of communication between his therapist and psychiatrist was a great source of anxiety and frustration, keeping him in the middle of multiple conflicting practitioners.
Jay’s lack of organization is not to blame in this situation. Instead, there is a larger problem here. If the health care system was more streamlined and there was efficient communication between Jay’s doctor, psychiatrist and psychologist could communicate with each other. He may not have experienced anxiety and frustration while treating his depression.
Jay is not the only one facing this issue. Innovations that streamline communication and cooperation within a care team are the future of a more effective mental health care system.