What is our value?

Okay, so I’m sure many people know by now the SSS Collaborative Response Team is offering mental health services as part of their response process. To do this they contracted an outside provider called Concern Health. If you want 3HO to pay for your mental health care–which is likely totally related to your relationship to this group–you have to call Concern. The number is 1-800-344-4222. There are few things to know before you call. Here’s what I know:

The first thing to know is that Concern is a EAP: Employee Assistance Program. Meaning, it’s used to helping workplaces. Not cults.

The second thing to know is this: 3HO initially only wanted to cover up to 20 patients. Those spots filled up almost immediately, so they increased their limit to 30 patients.

How many of us are there in the Second Generation? Rough estimate is probably somewhere around 1,200 individuals who were raised in this group. Maybe more, maybe less. Definitely more than 30.*

They truly believe in their hearts that (according to Shanti Kaur Khalsa) “$1,200 for counseling” is adequate. But are they really spending $1,200 on each of us? No. Because they have set a limit to how many patients Concern Health can accept before Concern Health has to renegotiate the contract.

Accounting for 3HO’s ‘metering’ technique, $1,200 x 30 patients = a $36,000 value. Divide that by the total number of SGA’s, roughly 1,200. $36,000 ÷ 1200 = $30. Each.

To 3HO we are worth $30 each.

So fucking insulting.

But as someone who has been in therapy for years now, I know how valuable it is, so I really want other people to utilize anything on offer as long as it’s legit and on the level. Concern’s providers are licensed professionals, so that’s good news.

I also want people to be able to get care with as few hurdles as possible. When someone’s in crisis it doesn’t take much to get discouraged. I mean, we’re already in a vulnerable place, we already don’t trust much of anything in this world!

I was curious how all of this would work, so I just went ahead and called them to find out more. I wanted to find out what kind of barriers or hurdles there would be, if any. Hurdle number one was figuring out exactly which group name to use. I called and said “I’m an ex-member of 3HO and I was told to call about mental health services” and they said “Who? What? Who are you?”

It took me some tries, but eventually I did get through to the appropriate person to get me set on the right path. Hurdle two was, telling what I need therapy for. “A lifetime of neglect and abuse under a cult” didn’t really work too well. “Early childhood trauma” didn’t translate well to their input specialist either. Remember, this is a company that’s used to servicing workplaces. I had to simplify.

Hurdle three was figuring out whether it would be possible to use my existing therapist.The answer to that was sort of yes, sort of no. If you want to use your existing therapist they would have to enlist as a provider with Concern Health, and they would have to accept Concern’s payor fee, and sign their contract, and use their portal (which they assure is HIPAA compliant).

But say you don’t already have a provider, and you want to get the process started. Here’s how you need to do it:

  1. Call ConcernHealth and say exactly these words: “I’m with Siri Singh Sahib Corporation. I want to get mental health care from you.”
  2. They will ask you what your “reason” for care is.
  3. Your answer should be subjective and concise. Tell them how you are feeling. Like, “I feel sad/depressed/anxious” or “I can’t sleep” or “I’m having trouble focusing”.
  4. If there’s a particular evidence-based modality (such as EMDR or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that you know works for you, don’t hesitate to ask once they get your ‘reason’.
  5. At this stage they will work to find a match for you in your area, and get you rolling.
  6. You will have to call the provider. The provider won’t call you, they can’t call you, it’s against the law. Place the call.

Okay, and lastly, if you do have a provider already and you want to use them, just be a little more patient and give it your best go, and escalate to a manager if you want to. What’s to lose? The good news for you is that you already have a provider that you can complain about all this when you see them next.

A couple things to consider:

These covered sessions through Concern Health, they are limited to only 10 visits. An important detail that so far has not been made clear by 3HO to its members and ex-members. 3HO hasn’t publicly disclosed how many people they have agreed to cover. From what I know, it’s not unlimited. It’s actually, like, pathetically small.

Argh… blurst this beaurocratic hoopla. Kinda fucking triggering in and of itself.

So yeah, it’s not surprising that 3HO’s scope of understanding of the mental health process is unbelievably limited. This is a group that has always discouraged proper therapy, and who claim to have the panacea for nearly every ailment both of the mind and of the body.

This step here from 3HO, it’s not adequate. It doesn’t even start to cover the vast harm they’ve caused.

But maybe… just maybe… If more people call for help, maybe tight-fisted 3HO will be further compelled to open their wallet, even if they never bother to expand their limited thinking.

Because if they don’t extend their limit, they will be refusing mental health services to people to whom they made a public promise.

And in an ideal world, accessing professional mental healthcare would be super easy, it would be free or affordable, and client/therapist rapport would happen in a snap. Unfortunately, it’s not really like that. But don’t be deterred. Please. Be an advocate for yourself and get started, even if it’s difficult at first. And if this doesn’t work out for you? Get help any way you can!

*My math for a rough head count of SGA’s could be wildly off. My only guestimate is judging by an average class size of 10, and multiplying that by 40 years of graduating classes.

Draft/post first created on May 29, updated August 18.