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Mentally ill need more attention

Re: Cuts mean end of safety net | July 29, story

Mentally ill need more attention

The closing of the short-term residential program at Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS) in Pinellas Park, as reported in the St. Petersburg Times, brings a disturbing loss of mental health care capacity in Pinellas County. While disappointing, this kind of loss is not unusual these days, as community mental health services in Florida are being cut at an alarming rate.

Many people who desperately need care must go without because they do not have insurance to pay for it. And because our society continues to stigmatize people with mental illness, it appears we would rather pay for criminal justice costs than mental health treatment. Our health system far too often responds to poor, mentally ill people with a lack of compassion and respect.

We must make mental health care a priority in Florida by finding the funds needed to provide adequate, compassionate care for everyone. Community-based mental health programs, like the PEMHS short-term residential program, provide the most effective ways to care for people with mental illnesses. When programs like this are forced to close, it is the people with the greatest need who suffer the most.

Bob Sharpe, president, Florida Council for Community Mental Health, Tallahassee

Re: Hotel delay rests on 3 litigious men | July 23, letter

Foes shouldn't doom landmark

My hope is that the residents of Belleair and everyone else who appreciates the history behind the Belleview Biltmore Hotel will stand together once again to restore it to its original glory.

What a shame it would be to lose this historic landmark because of three rotten apples. These people are showing us all that they have more dollars than sense.

Joann Friel, Belleair

Re: Tarpon Springs water, sewer rates going up | July 26, story

Bills already way to expensive

It appears that city consultant Mike Burton doesn't know "average," supposedly a bill of $60.65. My water bill for the last 12 months has been more than $80 per month for two people in a single household with a well for lawn water, except for one month when it was $76. Why are we so above average?

Ten years ago, our water bill was $45. Today, it is more than $80. My pension and Social Security didn't double.

Give me a break!

Carol Westfall, Tarpon Springs

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Mentally ill need more attention 08/05/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:05am]
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