A moving display on mental illness
On Saturday, the National Alliance on Mental Illness played host to a dinner dance at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill. We had many family friends and guests from our medical community in attendance. Everyone was treated to a play depicting the behaviors that surround an individual with bipolar disease: depression, mania, substance abuse, loss of self-worth, isolation, grandiose thoughts and the actions that these behaviors lead to. David Welsh from the Board of NAMI Hernando presented this moving piece based on his own life story.
The faces of individuals with bipolar disease were shown behind the play, that of Beethoven, Ted Turner, Abraham Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, Jane Pauley, Patty Duke , Charley Pride to name a few. A moving solo by Stephanie LaPorta of Starry Starry Night by Don McLean over a background of Vincent van Gogh's famous paintings was another tribute to great talent: van Gogh's, which was cut short by suicide due to his bipolar disease. He gave us great paintings from both the depression and mania states of his disease.
Also shared were facts of mental disease in our country.
• As many as 2,000 persons a year commit suicide in Florida.
• Eighteen veterans commit suicide every day or 6,700 a year.
• We as a nation donate $100 billion a year to all cancers combined, and only $50 million to all mental disease, yet mental disease affects 20 times more Americans.
• Up to 90 percent of persons with mental illness can, with good treatment, be contributors to our society.
Should you want more information on mental disease or on NAMI Hernando, please call Judith Thompson at (352) 544-0352.
Judith Thompson, Spring Hill
No squirrels seen lately here
I read your recent article about pets disappearing in the area.
It caught my attention because my wife and I had been discussing recently that we have seen no squirrels for about a month or more in our yard. There had always been eight to 10 running around, with our dog chasing them.
They have completely disappeared and my sister-in-law, who lives across the street and down five houses, said the same thing: no squirrels. Not only that, but the palmetto bugs have been absent for several months inside and out.
Robert Van Istendal, Spring Hill