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February 08, 2009

Missouri must provide for its mentally ill

Recent articles have indicated that Missouri’s governor recommends cutting $20 million from the mental health budget and that much of the money the state receives from the federal government for mental health hospitals are added to the general fund (2/4, Opinion, “Steps toward a better mental health system”). If these are facts, then we, as a state, are making a serious error.

We need to provide as much as possible for our fellow citizens for mental health services. The folks with mental health issues are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. It is incumbent upon us to care for these people. It is the right and the moral thing to do. Too often they are forgotten and left to waste away in group homes or on the streets.

The old adage holds true: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Bill Kampbell
Kansas City

Comments

Pub 17

Tina McG--
Not Bush's Aftermath, Ronnie's Aftermath. Ever wonder where all those homeless came from all of a sudden? The Reagan Administration decided that it was a violation of people's rights to take them off the street if they were mentally ill but not actually committing crimes. It also saved a lot of money, but why bring that up? We've been so much better off for the last 25 years with lots of happy derelicts sleeping under bridges, where they really want to be.

TinaMcG

Hey Vicki, be glad you or someone close to you doesn't struggle with mental illnesses. Maybe they don't get well because people like you insist on dismissing them as collateral damage in a hyper-stressful society. It really saddens me to see such an insensitive and selfish comment.

And by the way, with proper treatment, people can return to fully functional lives. Maybe they aren't cured, but then diabetes isn't curable either, is it?

VickyN

I have never seen anyone "get well" from many of these illnesses...do they? As a hard-working taxpayer, I choose to care for these persons' basic needs and that is all. Food, shelter, clothing. I'm finished with trying to "rehabilitate" or cure whatever it is that ails them. We don't have the money. Next problem.

TinaMcG

"The old adage holds true: “There but for the grace of God go I.”"

I absolutely HATE that old adage -- hate it, hate it, hate it. It implies that some people are recipients of God's grace and some aren't. Uh-huh, AS IF.

I couldn't agree more about the need for mental healthcare to receive more funding and more attention in our society. I don't think we have a clue just how many mental health issues go undiagnosed. But facts are facts. There is no money. All states and municipalities are working in the red right now. What would you do if you had to choose between cutting police and fire protection or keeping that money for mental health?

I know, Sophie's choice -- it sucks. Welcome to Bush's Aftermath.

 
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