Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: mental health


TAXES: First the rich pay, soon the rest of us

State House Democrats want to impose a new capital gains tax. They say it will only be levied against the rich. The money will be used for, of course, schoolchildren, the mentally ill and homeless kids.

Does anyone actually believe once a new tax is in place, it will only affect those dirty rotten rich people? Once in place, the new tax will soon affect anyone who has saved money.

If you disagree with new taxes, according to state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (Viewpoint, 6-7), you really want kids to be uneducated, the mentally ill untreated and poor children unfed. No,

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POLICE: Why not practice de-escalation?

Whatever happened to community policing and cops who had a clue about things like mental illness and homeless folks, and not an itchy finger?

The Lakewood officers just killed a guy because they thought a cellphone in his hand was a gun. Really?

This is not the first time a Pierce County based law officer has executed a mentally ill member of our community for no reason at all, and I fear it will not be the last.

Is this the quality of police we have now? What ever happened to de-escalation? Today, it seems that “deescalation” means pumping a few rounds

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MENTAL HEALTH: State needs to prioritize funding

Washington state should prioritize mental health funding even if it means raising revenue.

The costs of mental illness are seen everywhere - in our prisons, jails, emergency rooms and the demand for human services. Pierce County has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Beyond the public costs, businesses lose billions of dollars yearly in lost productivity and absenteeism.

With all the costs of untreated mental illness, funding for mental health care should be a top priority for our county and state.

The state has made some smart choices regarding mental health recently. We support the integration of mental

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MENTAL HEALTH: Hold off on more civil commitment

I take issue with the editorial advocating that families of mentally ill people should be able to petition a court for detention of mentally ill family members. More capacity has been added for involuntary commitments as a result of the court ruling on psychiatric boarding. Let’s see how that change works before making major changes in civil commitment law

I also take exception to the possibility of reintroducing psychiatric boarding when local mental health facilities are full. Western and Eastern State Hospitals should be used when local faculties are unavailable.

Our constitution makes care of the mentally ill a

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MILITARY: Mental health service must improve

It is essential that the Department of Defense not only maintain, but improve military mental health services even in the face of the drawdown (TNT, 1-22).

Since World War II there has been an increasing shift to more psychological injuries than physical injuries. However, these injuries have not been treated on equal par with physical injuries. Untreated, psychological injuries can lead to poor adjustment, substance abuse and suicide.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Institute of Medicine repeatedly recommended increased accountability, coordination and standardization to improve military mental health. Currently, each service branch has its own policies and procedures for mental health;

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MENTAL HEALTH: System strangled by nonsense

Re: “Mentally ill continue to sit in jail despite order” (TNT, 1-12).

The article regarding our broken mental health system mentioned but did not focus on the root cause of the mess we are in.

We are short on facilities and money, but questions remain: Why do we need more money? Why does mental health care cost so much? Why must psychotic people be put in jail before they can get the care they need?

The answer to these questions was suggested by Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner. According to the article, “Hamner said the police know the people in the

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MENTAL HEALTH: There is a proven solution

Re: ” In state of limbo” (TNT, 11-23).

We know the mental health system is not meeting the needs of people in crisis because of the lack of beds in psychiatric programs.

Together we have at least 66 years working in the mental health system. We know a way to manage the system and save each community money. We worked in Western State Hospital’s Center for Forensic Services, which had a 97 percent success rate in keeping people out of contact with police, emergency rooms, jails and court systems.

How did we do that? We simply had people involved in an

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JAIL: State responsible for competency restoration

Re: “In state of limbo” (TNT, 11-23).

The article is correct that a jail setting is not conducive to restore competency as a jail is not the therapeutic environment necessary to provide competency restoration treatment.

However, the Pierce County Jail does provide mental health treatment, including psychiatric medications, mental health assessments, crisis intervention, crisis stabilization and release planning.

The human cost of inmates languishing in jails pending transfer to the state hospital far outweighs the fiscal cost. The Department of Social and Health Services has not been indifferent or immune to this current crisis; however, the lack of funding cannot

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