Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: mental illness


MENTAL HEALTH: Many fall through the cracks

Reports of a mentally ill woman committed to Western State Hospital only to end up in a homeless shelter in California (TNT, 2-9) point to our crazy-quilt mental health system and lack of coordination between agencies and the courts.

It is far too easy for a mentally ill person to “fall through the cracks” in Pierce County. While the details of this particular instance are not fully explained, it seems that a simple fax machine could have averted this tragedy.

We need to develop a more coordinated system that ensures mentally ill persons receive appropriate care – not mangled

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GUNS: We’re not asking the right questions

The latest mass shooting and killing, this time at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., hardly raises any outcry at all. How terribly sad and ominous for us as a nation.

The only questions asked at all by a few in the media relate to whether the shooter should have been granted a security clearance to gain access to a military installation or been employed by a contractor due to his apparent background of violence and mental illness.

But if that apparent history should prevent a security clearance because he was just too dangerous and too unstable, shouldn’t it also

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MENTAL HEALTH: Shut the revolving door

It’s time to shut the revolving door that tosses the severely mentally ill into the street. The state Legislature needs to develop a program like that of Vermont.

There, a state family court judge can order a patient to be involuntarily hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. When the patient no longer needs to be hospitalized but continues to need supervision and structure, the court sets requirements for the patient’s release called “orders of non-hospitalization.” The patient can then be placed in a secure mental health treatment residence. When necessary, the orders can require a locked facility.

Recently, a new treatment

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MENTAL HEALTH: All pay cost of discrimination

Re: “‘Boarding’ the mentally ill” (TNT, 7-15).

As both a citizen and professional in the mental health field, I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to The News Tribune for publishing this special report.

People with mental illness continue to suffer from heavy systemic discrimination, and directly or indirectly, all of us bear a heavy cost emotionally and financially as a result. Tragically, many lives also have been lost.

I commend The News Tribune for the courage and commitment to educate the public about the dismal and immoral lack of adequate services toward people with this brain disease.

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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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GUNS: Focus on preventing gun-related crimes

Re: “Proposal treats symptoms, not causes” (letter, 2-14).

This letter has me scratching my head. It would seem that the writer’s solution to the problem of guns is to punish criminals after they have gotten a gun and committed a crime. Apparently the idea of preventing a criminal or mentally ill person from obtaining a gun is to be avoided at all costs.

Might I suggest another idea along that same line: Don’t allow the installation of fire hydrants until the house is on fire.

After years of working in McNeil Island, I am of the opinion that far

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SHOOTING: How do we resolve to do better?

As a mother and teacher, I join America in being deeply troubled that a human being can stand in front of children and shoot. I have heard many people ask where God was on Dec. 14 and place blame. The finger points at the human heart, and laws won’t change that. We don’t know much about the Lanza family, but I would like to suggest we consider the following points as we make our resolutions.

• Men need to make their wife and children their paramount responsibility. There is no safer place for a child than in a family where

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SHOOTING: It’s time to talk about guns, violence, mental illness

It is time.

People from different parts of Tacoma gathered at Immanuel Presbyterian Church Tuesday night for a quiet service of remembrance. There were no speeches or sermons, just silence, chants and readings. It was a gentle time for reflection and shared grief.

Like other faith communities, ours was hit hard by the events in Connecticut. Newtown’s shootings brought back raw memories of the October murder of church member and friend Rob Meline by a son who struggled with mental illness.

A service of quiet prayer and meditation was appropriate Tuesday. But it is time to do more. It is

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