To the editor:
I extend my compliments to your recent contributor, Bill Simons, for his column (Jan. 29) regarding mental health care in Kansas. With the recent emphasis on cost-cutting in government, the absolute needs for some Kansans with mental health issues have been ignored. Legislators who choose to absolve themselves from these responsibilities quite likely have not had a family member or a friend who is so impaired.
Kansas government is in the process of considering further reductions in what actually is the modicum of support it supplies to the mentally ill. If current contemplated measures are enacted, soon there will be no place for them to turn for hospitalization, outpatient care or medication. Jail, “Hoovervilles,” or encampments “down by the river” will be the next step. Kansas can, and absolutely should, do better. In many ways, in this instance, we are our brothers’ keeper. It is time for our citizens to stand up and be counted.