How Suicide Fuels Medical Debt

By Marissa Evans: For Entire Post, Go Here…

Americans who attempt to end their life are often sent medical bills for subsequent care that creates financial turmoil and more stress.

This story contains descriptions of people attempting to end their life, which may be disturbing to some readers. If you or someone you know need help, consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273-TALK (8255) for English, 1–888–628–9454 for Spanish.

Bailey McCormick felt like nothing in her life was going right. It was May 2019 and her relationship with her family was strained, and she wasn’t getting along with her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. Amid the stress, McCormick underwent a nonfatal suicide attempt.

During the attempt, the 30-year-old Missouri native called her psychiatrist and asked if she could come in for an emergency session. But rather than connect McCormick with her psychiatrist, the psychiatry office called the police as well as her mother who was upstairs in the house. Soon, six police officers showed up in her bedroom in the basement. She says her mind felt foggy at the time but that she remembers being handcuffed, strapped to a gurney, and sedated en route to a holding room until a regional hospital bed opened.

“My thought was maybe I’d be able to come in for an appointment with my psychiatrist,” McCormick says. “I think if I had known police officers were going to come and handcuff me, I don’t think I would’ve called anyone.”

In the weeks following her suicide attempt and hospital discharge, McCormick focused on attending regular therapy and psychiatrist sessions and getting on a new medication regimen. She spent time with a close friend and watched movies and sang some karaoke. She tried to exercise and stretch in order to destress. She went back to work under the pitying glances of co-workers who knew what happened and she sensed had talked about it. She tried to keep the day of the attempt as far away from her mind as possible.

But when the first hospital bill came to her mother’s house in July, McCormick dropped it on the floor and cried. Between the hospital care and the ambulance ride, she owed $1,389.78. The amount felt insurmountable to McCormick, who lives on a $23,000 annual salary and has always strived to be frugal and pay her bills on time.

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