Letters to the Editor

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MENTAL ILLNESS: What about the sickest?

Letter by Betty Halsey Moorhead, University Place on Feb. 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm | 8 Comments »
February 8, 2011 1:38 pm

Re: “Hope in mental care” (TNT, 2-6).

With a great deal of interest I read your article on new “for profit” systems to treat our mentally ill population.

I’m the mother of a 52-year-old son who was first hospitalized and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 17. Sad to say, he belongs to the group of mentally ill people who not only have the most serious form of illness but are also the most difficult to treat. A large part of the time they are too ill to cooperate in their treatment and spend a lot of their lives living on the streets.

Nowhere in the long article did I read anything pertaining to services for this group.

I’ve had 35 years experience in three states (Alaska, California and Washington) trying to obtain and keep services available for my son. When he has been provided a case manager who sees him regularly, he always does much better.
For the last several years, case management services have not been available for him for one reason or another, and without it he has not been able to keep a roof over his head, living on the streets much of the time.

Hospital ERs might just as well have revolving doors because my son uses them for everything from a headache to a full-blown episode of paranoia. His symptoms are such that it is impossible for his loving family to care for him.

Dare I hope for change?

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