Re: “No vacancy, no excuse for Western State to deny care” (TNT, 3-10).
Care of the mentally ill is not a priority of our state’s legislators, as accurately described in your front-page article. Washington’s mentally ill, who cannot care for themselves, receive haphazard treatment or none at all. Although relatively few are a danger to society, most are victims rather than perpetrators.
As the parent for 30 years of a daughter suffering from schizophrenia, I know firsthand the pain and suffering of mental illness. My daughter was fortunate, however, to receive enlightened care at several state hospitals and group homes. This was in Colorado. Unfortunately, addicted to cigarettes, she died several years ago of a stroke brought on by emphysema.
I am thankful and indebted to the state of Colorado for its humanity. I am also thankful that she was not exposed to the state of Washington’s treatment, or lack of it, of its mentally ill population. Until the state’s legislators budget funds for necessary treatment facilities and caregivers for the mentally ill, the wrong will continue.