To the editor:
I recently read that Lawrence Memorial Hospital has spent $45 million for expansion of the hospital “campus” under the guidance of CEO and President Gene Meyer.
How much of that $45 million was spent on upgrading LMH’s mental health unit? Oh, my mistake! That’s right; LMH doesn’t have a mental health unit!
Let me try again. How much of the $45 million was spent on building or providing a mental health unit? Naughty me! I already knew the answer: zero dollars!
LMH now provides care for rape victims rather than turning them away and sending them out of town — but only after the hospital was publicly shamed by members of the community, led by our wonderful district attorney.
I guess it’s just too bad for those with a mental illness who need to be temporarily hospitalized during a crisis time. LMH just sends them off to mental health beds elsewhere in the state or, because of the scarcity of such beds, the mentally ill in crisis wind up homeless, commit suicide, or wind up in the No. 1 facility for the care of the mentally ill in Kansas and across the nation: our jails or prisons. Ask any sheriff.
Won’t all of you in this community rise up as one voice and help correct this shameful situation for those of us who sometimes need a local mental health unit? Please!