Letters to the Editor

Care for mentally ill

A recent Sacramento Bee editorial (“Aid for mentally ill needs some follow-up,” March 12) asks whether the Proposition 63 “millionaires’ tax” is working because, quoting the editorial, “homeless people with mental illness are still with us, seemingly in numbers as great as ever.” It does not take much thought to see that statement’s false logic and condescension.

Documented treatment and improvement is the proper metric, not the “seemingly great number” of mentally-ill homeless people on the street. I have seen first-hand the dedication of our local mental health providers and their documented ability to stretch Proposition 63 dollars. We should be proud of such dedication and service.

It would be better to focus on the desperate need in California to fully fund “Laura’s Law,” which mandates court-ordered outpatient care for the severely mentally ill.

Such a mandate may have prevented the violence perpetrated by Mark Andrews in Atascadero or Elliot Rodger in the Santa Barbara area. Both were suffering from schizophrenia. A similar mandate in Texas could have prevented the death of American hero Chris Kyle.

It is the lives that are wasted, not the funds. How many more must suffer preventable violence? And for what, to save a few tax dollars?

Demand accountability, but use proper metrics.

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