What Price Mental Health?

President Clinton aims to guarantee coverage to all Americans, but the cost could be astronomical

When Jennifer Wilbert of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, developed schizophrenia at 16, she began a distressing odyssey through the mental-health-care system. Overwhelmed by dangerous delusions, terror and frequent bouts of depression, she needed immediate hospitalization. That is when her parents, Rob and Joan, discovered that their insurance would pay for only 30 days of care. It was not enough. Jennifer, who is now 21, was hospitalized at first for four months. To care for her daughter with constant supervision at home, Joan Wilbert took a leave of absence from her job as a clerk at the state department of revenue and lost her...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!