Kyle* couldn’t believe how fast the bills piled up after he lost his job and his insurance. What makes things even worse, Kyle has bipolar disorder, a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression, he didn’t have the money to fill his prescription and decided he’d be “fine” without it.

Like so many, Kyle’s life began to unravel and he slipped into a major depression. He didn’t get out of bed. He stopped caring about everyday responsibilities. He was convinced by a friend to call the call center at Family & Children’s Services (F&CS). He made an appointment, got help, and was able to fill his prescription at F&CS’s on-site pharmacy in the Sarah and John Graves Center at 23rd and Harvard.

Today, Kyle has gradually transitioned from being at rock bottom to finding and holding a steady job. He is staying on his medication and knows the reality of not filling his prescription. Calling F&CS was the best decision he ever made. “If I wasn’t coming here, I wouldn’t be able to afford my medication. The staff and doctors are very friendly and helpful. The pharmacy has been everything for my mental heath,” Kyle said.

Last year F&CS help others, like Kyle, by providing almost $20 million dollars of free psychotropic medications to mental health clients through our patience assistance program. Many clients can’t afford much-needed medication because of lack of insurance or they don’t have the means to pay to fill a prescription.

F&CS’s convenient, on-site pharmacy helps current clients easily fill prescribed psychiatric medications as directed by F&CS psychiatry providers. Prescriptions are available for clients with insurance through Medicaid and Medicare D, and for clients who don’t have health care coverage.

The on-site pharmacy is vital because people without insurance coverage have little to no access to care. On average, one in five uninsured adults go without needed medical care due to cost. Studies show that the uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for major health conditions and chronic diseases.

“]”I just started using the pharmacy last month. It is easy to use and understand. People that need help can actually get help here. Family & Children’s Services has been a blessing for myself and my son,” said Kyle’s mother.

The F&CS pharmacy is crucial because when people stop taking their medicine it can be dangerous to their health and stability. The main reasons people stop taking their medicine are the side effects, fear of dependence, fear of losing themselves, shame, feeling “better” and most importantly the cost.

Phillip has been an F&CS client since 2013. “This organization has been very instrumental in my life. It has helped me in many ways besides medicine. I would recommend it to people struggling and need help. I love seeing other people getting help, it’s truly amazing. This place is a blessing,” Phillip explained.

F&CS helps take the burden of worrying about the cost of medicine off our clients. They come to our pharmacy and have access to reduced or free medicine and can maintain their mental and physical health.

*name has been changed to protect personal information.