Letters to the Editor

Mississippi's mental health crisis needs attention

Of the 174 members of the Legislature, I wonder just how many of them ever drove just a few miles South of the Capitol at Jackson to actually visit the Whitfield State Hospital for the mentally ill.

If a person ever visits that particular facility, it will have a lasting effect on them no matter if you are Republican, Democrat, or some other persuasion.

I will bet that the present plan to cut the budget of State Agencies across the board is not going to affect spending by administration and legislative leaders on support staffs and perks at the State Capitol. You can bet Gov. Phil Bryant will have the usual detail of bodyguards and staff at the Mansion, and all the senators and representatives will not have their allowances cut.

Some estimates for the serious mentally ill within our state range from 7 percent to 10 percent of the 2.9 million population.

Unfortunately, the mentally ill who are being treated and those untreated do not have a "true champion" in the Senate or House.

The mentally ill only have you and me to speak for them! Perhaps someone who has a "deep feeling within their conscience" will step forward and ask the governor to call a "special one-day session" to not only cancel any cuts to the mental health program, but to look for additional revenues to help the mental health professionals who are both underpaid and overworked with very large case loads.

The mental health crisis needs immediate attention.

BOB USEY

Gulfport

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