“She doesn’t have a year,” A Richland mother’s plea for mental health help

Holly Roettger said her 15-year-old daughter Nana is being treated like a ping pong ball in the mental health care system

KENNEWICK, Wash. — “She loved to organize, she loved to decorate, she loved to make things pretty and she was a skater girl,” Richland mother Holley Roettger said.

The mother of four reminisced on happier times.

Times, before her 15-year-old daughter Nana became mentally ill.

“Like now, I would give anything to be worried about her skating around Richland instead of what she’s dealing with right now,” she said.

Last July, Nana’s father was murdered in Grandview.

Holly said that’s when her daughter started showing signs of depression and suicidal ideation.

Then in December, her condition worsened.

“She was admitted for her first crisis stay and that is when we realized that from the age of five to eleven that she had been hurt by a family member,” Holly was shocked, “never in a million years would have thought that my children were ever getting harmed the one place I considered them safe and allowed them to go when they were little. So, she had been harboring and carrying all of this and the trauma of losing her dad and then the holidays coming caused what they call a mental break and all of that came forward,” she said.

Since July 2021, Nana has been on waitlists galore to get intensive mental health treatment, but options are limited with Medicaid coverage.

In the mean time, Holly’s full time job has gone from photographer, to keeping her daughter alive.

“I have to go to the restroom, I have to shower, I have to sleep and she purposely waits because she is so hurt inside,” Holly said.

Finally in February, they were grateful to get into Lutheran Community Services Northwest. They’re opening an additional office in Pasco to serve more patients, but still, they’re out patient treatment.

Holly said she just wants her sweet, skater girl, back.

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“You love them so much, and you just want them to understand how loved they are and they don’t and it doesn’t matter what you say or what you do, until they get better they’re not going to believe that,” Holly cried.

Insurance hasn’t been the only barrier that the Richland family has run into trying to find care.

Holly said there’s bed and staff shortages in the facilities that accept Medicaid, which means they’ve had to look outside of Washington, which would be out-of-network.

“Mental health needs more resources, it needs more attention, and I had no idea about any of this, no clue, zero clue, I would’ve been just like everybody else thinking that if my child needed help that they could get help,” she said.

Despite the sleepless nights, inability to work and mental toll, Holly isn’t throwing in the towel any time soon.

“I’m not giving up on my child and I never will. We’re just hoping that somebody sees us somebody sees her, somebody sees this problem and does something.”

There is an ongoing fundraiser for Nana on Facebook and GoFundMe, this would allow Holly to get her daughter into an out-of-state treatment center instead of waiting months for something in Washington.

The Suicide Lifelife is 800-273-8255, you can call if you or someone you know is struggling.

This is a multi-part series by KAPP KVEW, check back soon for the latest installment.