A few days ago, this image of me talking about my healthcare costs went viral. Since then I’ve been fielding a lot of questions, and so I thought I’d clear everything up with this post.
Q: How did you afford that!?
A: I didn’t pay for it all myself. In 2014 I found what I would consider the world's best loophole and found a way to be classed as an inpatient and do outpatient programs at a private psychiatric hospital in Melbourne. I wasn't unwell enough for public programs, so this was my only option for health care that was affordable. At that stage I'd spent years in the system unable to afford proper help and it was only by an absolute fluke that I found out about it. It's been the only way that I've been able to afford to get better. I used the whole figure because I wanted people to understand how resource heavy mental illness is, and how much funding is needed to be able to adequately treat people publicly. Also, if I wasn't stranded by the public system for so long, my health care costs would not be nearly as high, so this figure is the result of a lot of neglect by the public system.
Q: Where do those numbers come from?
A: Here's the breakdown of my services this year:
- one session with a psychologist per week $7,499 p/a
- one group therapy session per week $17,946 p/a
- one session with a psychiatrist per month $6,054 p/a
- 15 days as an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital. $12,212
I paid for my health insurance, the psychiatrist sessions, and part of the psychologist sessions, I've done all the services as averages here, it changed a bit depending on how well I was.
Q: That's awful, how can I help?
A: Funny you should ask, at the moment I'm trying to get people to submit their opinions to the Medicare review in the hopes more funding with be committed to mental health services. You can fill out the form here (it will take you minimum five minutes, but has lots of space if you want to do an extended edition) and in return I'll send you a snazzy badge with a quote from one of my favourite poems (below).
Let it all in
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final
To get a snazzy badge all you need to do is send a screenshot of the survey after you've submitted your response, along with your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, share it the around. Tag me on instagram / twitter @honor_eastly with your badges. And get in quick, the review finishes November 9th.
To ask more questions, pop them in the comments