A big thank-you to Melanie Billig for the informative and thoughtful Viewpoint (Tribune, July 20.) She helped explain the huge missing piece in our local mental health community. We are lucky to have local resources for therapy, outpatient care and family support. (Thank you to Transitions-Mental Health Association, as well as to National Alliance on Mental Illness.) However, she reiterated the imminent need for a local behavioral health hospital.
Many of us do realize the urgency and have family members who at times have desperately needed this care, and we have been forced to travel out of town for these much-needed services.
This makes the logistics, not to mention the expense, very hard on the mentally ill client and their family members.
I encourage our community to embrace the idea of this much-needed hospital. Those of us with experience in the mental health community need to educate and advocate for our mentally ill loved ones. Let’s stop the stigma!