Help is available for mentally ill
We are drawn to family in the holiday season. Our homes become gathering places for family members, some we may not have seen in a long time, but hope to spend time with them to renew the ties that bind us.
But for families where a person is suffering from a mental disorder, the reunion may be a time of great stress. Mental illness will disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, behavior, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Family members and the person themselves can not wish, pray, or will them away. Just has we can not wish away heart disease, cancer, or any medical illness, mental illness must be understood and treated for that family member to reach wellness.
One in four adults will experience mental illness in a given year, and one in 17 adults is living with a serious mental illness. Our surgeon general reports 10 percent of children and adolescents suffer some form of serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in schools, homes, and relationships to others. Mental illness often strikes people in the prime of their lives, with three-quarters of all cases occurring between ages 14 to 24.
We have also seen an unprecedented number of returning servicemen and women who are experiencing serious mental disorders that will adversely effect their relationships.
If your family gathering this year seems touched by someone who is not relating well, cannot tolerate the stress of family gatherings, seems depressed or manic, is drinking a lot or using drugs, is overly stressed, or has thoughts that are not based in reality, there is education and understanding, and support for you as a family member and for the person that is experiencing these behaviors.
Hernando NAMI will have a Family 2 Family class starting Jan. 21 at our Beautiful Mind Center. Check out our hernando nami.org or nami.org Web site for full information on this free 12-week class.
Let this be the last Christmas that you and your family member are in the dark about the behaviors of mental illness and the help that education and understanding can bring to your family. Call (352) 544-0352 for information on our programs.
Judith Thompson, Spring Hill
Seeking a favor from Joe Mason
Since Joe Mason has been so good to the city of Weeki Wachee in the past, I wouldn't think that asking him for one more favor would be a problem.
The city desperately needs help with filing for bankruptcy before it's dissolved.
Alan Daniel, Weeki Wachee
DeWitt's column crossed the line
Joe Mason is not an ambulance chaser. He doesn't look for clients; they come to him.
The officials of the Weeki Wachee attraction approached Mason to be their attorney, not the other way around.
Dan DeWitt crossed the line in his Dec. 6 column. He owes Mason an apology, and in the future, please refrain from taking a cheap shot at anyone if you don't know what you're talking about.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
Homeowner grateful to HELP
I would like to express my gratitude to everyone connected with the HELP program.
Terry Rodgers was so very helpful in guiding me through all the paperwork involved. Don Ridley came to evaluate all the areas that needed attention in my home. He offered opinions and suggestion of what could and could not be done. He did the walk-through with all the contractors and answered all their questions. When the job was finally awarded to the contractor Zerimar Builders, they contacted me immediately to discuss the work that was to be done.
The only two drawbacks I found is how long it takes for the first walk-through with the contractors. I was told that the county waits to get five clients for the contractors to bid on each time. I signed my paper Aug. 6 but had to wait until Sept. 16 for my walk-through.
Second, once the bid had been awarded to a contractor, the process stopped again and the client waits until it is put on the calendar for the Board of Commissioners to vote. My winning bid due date was Sept. 23, but the board voted on it Oct. 26. On Nov. 3, I signed the contract with the county. If these two processes could be moved along quicker it would be so much better.
Once the contractor Zerimar was given the go-ahead, work moved along very quickly and the staff was so wonderful. I was also so happy to be able to have all the work completed before Thanksgiving.
Thanks to Don Singer for running the HELP program and getting the message out to the public to be able to take advantage of what is offered and also having a staff that cares. Finally, a thank-you to Commissioner Jeff Stabins for putting together this wonderful program to keep homes in Hernando County from further depreciating in value due to not enough money for homeowners like myself to make necessary repairs to our homes.
JoAnn Abarno, Spring Hill
A good deed done by county official
It seems like there are a lot of news stories and editorials complaining about the county commissioners here in Hernando County, but I have seldom seen much written about the good things our commissioners have done. I'd like to do something about that.
For a long time, we had to look at a vacant lot across the street from us that had long been used by various people to dump their unwanted trash and items. I recently wrote an e-mail to Commissioner Jeff Stabins to ask him what he might be able to do about the problem. A few weeks after I contacted him, I woke up one morning to find a Waste Management truck and crew across the street cleaning up the mess. They even pulled the tall unsightly weeds. What a difference!
So thank you, Jeff, for being there for us. We need more like you.
David Haney, Spring Hill
A lot of American jobs now in India
Are you unemployed? Can't find a job? You may wonder why there are no jobs or work available? I am retired, but think I can partially clear up why there are so many American people out of work and can't get any help.
I had occasion to call my bank about my wife's and my account, and I wasn't sure I had my local Spring Hill branch, so I asked the lady on the phone where she was. Her reply was "India." The country — India.
Now do you still wonder where the jobs for Americans have gone?
Ernest Franklin, Spring Hill
My lawn is made of beautiful stone
I feel the fertilizer ban was just great and I am one who also is guilty.
I have changed my mind and I am now filling my entire lawn front, and back, with what they call cedar bark stone.
It's just beautiful. Use newspaper as a weed blocker. It works.
I have my driveway done with colors that match the roof. Everyone can't believe how great it looks.
Now, no more watering. No more fertilizer. No more cutting. Just use fire ant killer.
I feel if they had a stimulus program, more people would do this.
Eugene Price, Spring Hill