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Witness Testimony of Richard Moncrief, Veteran

Richard Moncrief

I would like to thank the committee for giving me the chance to speak out about the lack of Mental Health Care in the Southeast corner of the state.
I have been using the Mental Health services in the Artesia Clinic for several years now. With the loss of Dr. Peter K. Hochla we now are going to be forced to use the telemed system which is a very impersonal way of conducting mental health. The men and women who suffer from PTSD and TBI need to have a live physical being to talk to. Better yet to have Group Therapy with a skilled group leader and a Psychologist would even be better.
Having a warm body to talk to, in person is better than a Flat Screen   for the patient. The talk is more personal and you can see the body movements and make better eye contact with the person doing the counseling.
When Dr. Peter K. Hochla was here every 3 to 6 months, I still needed to talk to someone to be able to let my hair down and be relaxed. I ended up hiring a MA, LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor). I tried to use TRICARE, but they did not pay the going Medicare rate so I ended up paying for the Counselor out of my pocket.
There is a very great need for some kind of skilled counselor in this part of the Country.