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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Coping with Mental illness

Make care a priority

Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column “Politicizing mental health” [Opinion, June 90 spells out many excellent points about the way that seeking help for mental-health problems is disparaged.

As a licensed independent clinical social worker for many years, I work with patients who have been able to seek help for emotional difficulties regardless of the stigma attached to doing so, including by many patients themselves.

As a mental-health advocate for many years, I have seen public funding for mental-health services cut and cut again. Today we are facing yet another cut to these services and the supporting social services, which are just as important.

Whether people are seriously mentally ill and unable to care for themselves, functioning in a life of depressive or anxious misery, stuck in relationships that are damaging to participants, or vulnerable children and elderly who are harmed by the lack of competent caretakers, it is time for us to stop blaming those with mental illness. Their daily care and mental-health treatment should be a priority in our progressive state.

Anything less is a tacit agreement with those who say “tough it out.”

Laura W. Groshong, Lake Forest Park

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