Across the country we are mourning the death of Robin Williams, and here in Vermont the loss of Cheryl Hanna. The nightly news reports there is a suicide every 13 minutes, a shocking statistic. Yet when I picked up The Times Argus on Tuesday there was an article mentioning requests by Gov. Shumlin for large cuts to community mental health. There seems to be a constant struggle at the State House to maintain funding for mental health services.
Folks with serious mental illness need a variety of services, not just to thrive, but sometimes to simply survive. Continued funding is also needed to provide public education about mental illness and to combat stigma. I’m surprised and dismayed to think our officials have such little understanding of what it takes to make community mental health centers effective. For the next 13 minutes think about what services should be cut and know someone during those minutes could have used more help.
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