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Letters to the Editor

Disappointed in state mental health system

My reason for this letter is to express my dissatisfaction with the state of the mental health care system. Having to deal with this for the last 20 years, I have first-hand knowledge of the lack of support for our mental health professionals. These folks are overwhelmed with patients due to the scaling back of facilities for the mentally ill.

I, along with the rest of the nation, was saddened at the tragic event in Connecticut. This event, along with many others, large and small, was carried out by a person with a mental illness, probably diagnosed but not yet proved to be a threat to themselves or others.

The basic problem with the mental health patients is that they can live normal, productive lives while taking meds. Unfortunately, they feel fine and decide they no longer need these meds. As they regress into psychotic states, they don’t realize anything is wrong.

Now, I don’t want to infringe upon people’s rights, and I don’t have a solution, but surely there is a better idea out there. In the past, doctors and therapists had the ability to treat patients until they felt that patient was able to function in society.

Somewhere along the way, to the benefit of the insurance industry, it was decided that someone, miles away, knew more about the patient’s condition and could decide whether their progress was appropriate. If dissatisfied, they could stop paying for care (this has happened to me).

Where did this right come from? Mental health professionals are too busy and probably under-funded to pay lobbyists, but I’m sure the insurance industry has them.

In conclusion, I am very disappointed in our politicians in this matter. How many “events” will it take before this system is addressed?

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