To the editor:
The Lawrence/Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging would like to express our continued thanks to those calling for support of mental health services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Many older members of the community suffer from mental health issues. Opportunities for assistance are few for those on limited incomes. In addition to financial concerns, the perceived stigma that many of the older generation feel in going to a psychiatrist or psychologist prevents them from seeking needed care. Having assistance at the hospital gives an option to those who would not seek private doctors or those who cannot afford individual counseling.
We do realize that there are budgetary considerations that the hospital and the city make, but we would like to add our voices to those who express concern over the effect the lack of mental health options has for the community as a whole. For those who cannot seek other options, their problems become a community problem. The council recognizes that LMH and the city cannot solve all of these problems, but by re-establishing mental health services, many of the difficulties faced by those with mental health problems would be addressed, and it would help to lessen other connecting issues.
Frank Day, president,
Lawrence/Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging