Letters to the Editor

Understanding the need for Templeton Behavioral Health Hospital

On behalf of Transitions-Mental Health Association , I wish to voice support for the Templeton Behavioral Health Hospital proposal. At the recent San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission hearing, we were heartened to hear from the brave folks, including a formerly suicidal teen, who shared their stories of living with mental illness. They reinforced that those with lived experience aren’t criminals or dangerous.

The stigma that exists against brain disorders versus physical disorders, such as cancer or heart disease, is sad at best. We believe stigma and fear are getting the better of some fine folks in Templeton who spoke in opposition. (Many prefaced their comments by saying they see the need for a hospital, but not in Templeton.)

People living with mental illness are 11 times more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators, yet fear remains. Our sheriff and the various North County police chiefs have all written letters in support of the hospital. They understand the need, and they know the facts.

We trust the commissioners will vote on facts and put the “we see the need, but don’t build it near me” opinions in perspective. Our entire community will benefit from more treated individuals living among us.

Cindy Johnson, Transitions Board of Directors, San Luis Obispo