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We must speak up about mental health issues

Staff Report • Oct 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Too few public officials are prepared to candidly discuss a mental health system in this country that could use much improvement. Making the necessary changes will take a serious dialogue among elected officials, care providers and those directly affected by mental health disorders. As Americans, we should ask everyone seeking election to speak up on this issue.We have whispered about the problem for far too long. It’s time we all speak up about mental health issues. In fact, this is the perfect time to do it. We are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week — a period to reflect on a health care problem that doesn’t always get the attention it should. On Tuesday, we published a letter in Forum that helped put this week into perspective.Sherry Falkner of Johnson City noted that the National Alliance on Mental Illness is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that offers information and support to families who are dealing with someone with a mental illness.She wrote: “NAMI offers friends who care and understand, a place to share resources and ideas that help you take care of yourself and loved ones with mental illness, a chance to share your experiences and learn from one another and a chance to find opportunities to advocate for changes in our mental health system.”Help is available at NAMI of Johnson City, which meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Harrison Christian Church, 2517 Browns Mill Road.

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