As a local psychiatrist, I believe the proposed psychiatric hospital in Templeton is both needed and long overdue. It is very difficult to find beds for patients in the psychiatric hospitals in Santa Barbara and Ventura. Sometimes the local mentally ill in need of psychiatric hospitalization choose to stay in the community because admission to out-of-county facilities is so difficult. Perhaps the opponents of the proposed Templeton facility should reflect on the wisdom of retaining psychiatrically impaired patients, untreated, in our community.
Also, the argument that the proposed psychiatric hospital in Templeton will attract the homeless is not warranted. The patients in the proposed hospital will have private insurance, something few homeless individuals have. After stabilization and treatment the patients in the proposed facility will be sent home, whether that is in this county or another, they will not be discharged to the street.
John Cannell, San Luis Obispo
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