Defend the Mentally Ill
Thank you for reprinting the article on "Reform Puts Mentally Ill in Nursing Homes" (Jan. 14), an investigative story detailing the abysmal condition of North Carolina's system of care for mental health.
Finally we are learning about the "dumping" of patients in our state (a 15 percent increase in patients inappropriately placed in nursing homes in four years because of downsizing of hospital beds and lack of proper housing).
Where is the leadership in this administration when those that are ill through no fault of their own are placed in jails, streets and inappropriate housing? NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has been trying for years to get a fair hearing on parity, as this insurance discrimination is costly to taxpayers and overloads a broken mental health system. We will try again this year.
In closing, I take umbrage with equating mental illness with violence. Persons with mental illness, when they receive medical help for their symptoms, are no more likely to commit a violent act than those with cancer or diabetes.
Treatment works! Yet, we let the suffering continue.
Judith A. Krall, President
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