Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: mental health


MENTAL HEALTH: What goes around comes around

Re: “Shut the revolving door” (letter, 9-16).

In the late 1970 and early ’80s there used to be a long, narrow building in Tacoma called Jefferson House. Here in individual rooms lived mentally ill people who regularly needed medication. It was state-run and well-kept. Patients could socialize, receive visits, engage in activities, etc.

Then, with the Reagan administration working for smaller government involvement, this motto became policy: “Allow nonviolent mentally ill people to be put back into the community, dissolve these government-run places. These people pose no harm; they can get their meds themselves.”

We’ll, we all have seen

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JAIL: Repeat offender tells an incorrect story

Re: “Pierce County Jail is one constant in his life” (TNT, 6-16).

I would suggest that before you print an article that is potentially hurtful that you do a bit of fact-checking.

My son, Cannon Schultz, was allowed to tell a story that is incorrect. He has never met two of his siblings (his father’s children who moved to Kansas before he was born), and the last time he saw his sister was right before he was arrested again. He has had the same adults in his life for nearly 19 years.

Even our neighbors have done what they

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MENTAL HEALTH: Optum provides innovative vision

Re: “Mental health provider scrutinized” (TNT, 3-31).

The Optum Pierce RSN (regional support network) I know consists of individuals with the “right stuff.”

In a public mental health sector that is desperate for encouragement and innovation, they demonstrate the ability of boldness and daring to both excite and perform. They offer a platform to start connecting in new ways. They encourage us to focus less on the mental illness and more on the person with the illness who can recover. How inspiring!

They invite us to form a dynamic co-creative group of providers that is solution-focused. How motivating!


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MENTAL HEALTH: Funding must be a priority

The recent articles in The News Tribune (3-10) have highlighted, very well, the “revolving door” policy that my family and I are too familiar with. The mental health system in Washington is, without a doubt, in crisis.

Nearly five months ago my son, Jonathan, killed his father. Rob’s murder never should have happened. Last year it seemed that Jon was to be committed to the institution for life, but he was released unexpectedly. Now we’re caught up in the system again.

The day that Jon had his arraignment for murdering his father, he was ordered to Western State Hospital

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MENTAL HEALTH: System failing too many people

Re: “Judge hopes to stop patients’ revolving door” (TNT, 3-15).

The article offers insights into the complexities of mental-health care and the difficulties of getting all needy patients effective treatment.

Our health-care system is failing both women discussed in the article. Neither is getting adequate help either in or out of the state hospital. Being difficult to treat can’t be justification for not hospitalizing someone in order to get them the necessary treatment.

These women suffer from a class of mental illnesses known as personality disorders. Personality disorders can be just as devastating as other mental illnesses like bipolar

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MENTAL HEALTH: Optum’s for-profit status is irrelevant

Re: “No vacancy” (TNT, 3-10).

Thanks very much for publicizing the damage being done to mental health services by continuing reductions in state funding for mental health.

However, I want to rebut a comment attributed to Amnon Schoenfeld, director of King County mental health and substance abuse services, in a sidebar article. He said that OptumHealth does not loan beds, that “They get some of that money and that is their bottom line. There’s their profit.”‘

Wrong! Optum has the same Regional Support Network (RSN) contract as all other RSNs in the state. By contract, all are allowed

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MENTAL HEALTH: Some good people trying to help

Re: “No vacancy, no excuse for Western State to deny care” (TNT, 3-10).

Sunshine Sunday led to some great reading, notably Sean Robinson’s articles on the mental-health revolving door.

It was astounding to learn that Washington is dead last when it comes to the “certified beds” needed to deal with this intractable problem. A majority of mass killings and shooting sprees are committed by people with mental-health problems that were identified in advance, so it was alarming to see our cumbersome and ill-equipped situation.

That said, it was encouraging to read coverage on the straight-talking Commissioner Craig Adams and

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MENTAL HEALTH: Care denied to mentally ill

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

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