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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
After reading “A cold refuge for the mentally ill” (Sept. 27 editorial), I am horrified that our current legal system offers little hope for treatment of mentally ill individuals, choosing instead to incarcerate them in penal institutions.
Our country’s recent history of violent events, e.g., the Virginia Tech massacre and the Navy Yard killings, should be a huge red flag of the need for more, not fewer, options for those who suffer from this devastating illness.
In Virginia, the current laws regarding mental health therapy inhibit family and friends from aiding their loved ones until a crisis occurs. Repeatedly we hear the statement, “Why didn’t someone do something to prevent this tragedy?” Yet our laws severely limit options for the treatment of mental illness, even when an illness is clearly recognized.
We need to strongly encourage our lawmakers to use our tax dollars for hopeful solutions to this mental health crisis instead of using the funds for warehouses to hold these individuals.
CANDICE B. PUCKETT
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