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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 13, 2015 at 3:15 PM

Mental health: Fix the system

The Legislature must resolve weaknesses throughout the public mental-health crisis system, including adequate psychiatric bed capacity, extending non-institutional intensive treatment options and updating the judicial process [“Lawmakers consider ways to improve mental-health services,” Local News, Feb. 10].

When the system works properly, it can halt the downward spiral of a person’s psychiatric illness. But that is far from the end game. Let’s not lose sight that, like most hospital stays for non-psychiatric illnesses and conditions, the work and support continues after patients are released — the ultimate goal is regaining one’s greatest degree of health and functioning, even when living with a chronic condition.

For those recovering from serious and often persistent psychiatric challenges, all the treatment and hard work is not just to avoid or delay the next crisis, it is intended to result in being a part of the community, with fulfilling relationships, a safe place to call home and engagement in society, often through employment.

Fixing our broken mental-health crisis system is not the end — it is actually the beginning.

Frank Jose, Seattle

Comments | More in Mental illness | Topics: Frank Jose, Legislature, mental health

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