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Diann Michael, president of the Broward County Psychological Association, is accustomed to hearing people talk about their troubles, fears and anxieties.
Since the economy began turning sour last spring and especially since the Sept. 11 attacks, the litany of problems she has heard, she said, reads like an A-to-Z listing of mental health ills. But even more disturbing, Michael said, is that the managed care system is trying to cut back the money is gives her to treat patients and the services she can provide, at a time when patients need more care.
"There is no question that the severity of problems has increased," she said. Michael, who is part of Child and Family Psychologists in Plantation, said she and her colleagues regularly work 16-hour days just to keep up with the need. "My own daughter has had bad dreams since Sept. 11 and I don't have time for her."
The problem for business and for managed care companies is the way the health care system treats people with mental problems. With a …