Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 15, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 04/15/2014

More voices needed

The short-sighted and limited funding of Community Mental Health services, recently announced, leads to an unassailable conclusion: budgeters who propose such an unconscionable attack on people who struggle with disabling mental health issues have again been stigmatized as unworthy of support.

Those community mental health services funds would address emerging needs of people who show early signs of mental distress. They would profit from early intervention in the community. Adequate funding support would help prevent serious deterioration in a person’s ability to deal with the stresses imposed by a so-called “mental illness” and problems in living in our increasingly stressful society.

It’s as if the nature of mental disability is not sufficiently understood by decision-makers when cuts are proposed.

Progress toward mental health is a journey of staggered steps and most enriching at the community level where people receive the supports necessary for learning or relearning how to negotiate and order their lives to attain successful community living skills regardless of disability.

Failure to provide funds to support community based mental health operations can only result in increased levels of emergency episodes which are both frightening to the person in distress and to the community. More voices needed.

Frank Tosiello

Traverse City

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