No Shame In Treating Mental Illnesses - And Response

Friday, December 29, 2017

In any given year, one in five adults experience a mental illness  Forty-five million Americans suffer from PTSD, depression or anxiety, or schizophrenia.  Millennials are affected at a similar rate.  We all know someone who has struggled or will struggle to overcome mental health issues at some point in their lives.  And despite some improvement in rates of insurance and availability of services, over half of those affected by mental health issues do not receive treatment. 

In recent years, mental health issues have often been treated more as crime than as disease, particularly in the case of addiction to a controlled substance. In 2015, over 1.2 million people with mental illness were in jail or prison often for minor offenses related to their illnesses.

While we recognize that the road to recovery is possible, yet, as a society, we often think about mental health differently. 

There should be no shame in discussing or seeking help for treatable illnesses that affect too many of the people that we love.  We have to rid ourselves of the stigma and embarrassment associated with mental health issues. For far too long, our family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors suffer in silence rather than seek help. It is up to us to be our brother's keeper ensuring that both the men and women who would never hesitate to seek medical attention for the common cold possess the same attitude when it comes to their mental health. 

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod 

* * *

Amen to that Councilwoman Coonrod, 

It is just mind boggling to hear grown adults and people in position of authority mock those struggling with addiction and other forms of mental illness.   How fortunate for these adults to have such a blessed life that they have never had a form of mental illness, or a family member with mental illness.   I doubt that is the case, since almost all families struggle with trying to help save a family member from addiction or some form of  mental illness.  People still hide these matters like secrets. Why, I have no idea.  

It is acceptable to have diabetes, heart disease, and all kinds of physical problems, but a brain disease, God forbid.  Somehow, people have the idea that every organ in the body is allowed to be sick, or acquire disease, but if your brain gets disease, it is your fault.  You caused it, it was a choice.  

That is so absurd. However, that is how the shallow people think.  They believe that people chose to have mental illness. To me, that indicates, there is more of a problem with other people.    

Anyway, it brought me great joy to read your open perspective which is correct and filled with compassion for people in the struggle of their lives. If we had the cure for drug and alcohol addiction, we could literally empty prisons, and cut government spending by billions.  

It is truly the billions of dollars cure. What is the mechanism causes addiction and mental illnesses?  One day they will know. 

You wrote, "over half of those affected by mental illness do not receive treatment"  in your letter.  That is true. 

Treatment for the mentally ill is not as accessible as it should be.  I have become the task master in this area. Medical treatment with a psychiatrist is not accessible at all in my opinion, there are very few of them practicing in this region, and that is what serious mental illness requires.  Perhaps when Erlanger's new facility opens access to clinical, medical professionals will improve.  

Just to see how hard it is to access real qualified doctors. Call any psychiatrist in Chattanooga area and try to get an appointment, and you will hear, "we are not taking new patients."  You will not be able to get an appointment.  

You are the first elected official I have ever seen write a letter on the subject of the mental illness, I really like fact you will step out there where others won't. 

April Eidson

Gun Free Schools Are Sitting Targets

More laws banning the guns will not work, criminals don't care what the law is. Anybody that thinks we can get rid of the guns so bad people don't have access to them is a fool. I challenge our local leaders to get armed security in every school so the kids are not sitting ducks against a crazed lunatic killer. And lock the schools up so people can't get into them. School's ... (click for more)

Arm Our Kids Now - And Response

RE:  Roy Exum: Arm Our Teachers Now I am writing in response to Roy Exum's editorial. I have heard this opinion before and always wondered if it is going far enough. Some people think one or two adults should be armed in each school, or even all teachers, as does Roy.  I think all the students should be armed. It takes too long for one or two armed adults to get ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Identify, Charge Social Media Poster Who Warned Students Not To Go To School; 2nd Student Also Charged In Hoax

Police said they have identified the person who used social media to place warnings of a possible shooting at three local high schools.   Authorities said the teenage girl would be charged in Juvenile Court.   Police said additional hoax threats have been made, and a teen boy from another school has been charged in Juvenile Court.   Officials said, ... (click for more)

Hazelwood Ordered Confined To His Home Until Sentencing In Chattanooga On June 27; Defense Renews Objection To Release Of "Incendiary" Racist Tapes

A federal magistrate in Knoxville has ordered former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood confined to his home pending sentencing in Chattanooga on June 27 on three felony convictions. The confinement at his Knoxville home is to be on a 24-hour basis except for medical needs. Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton also ordered Hazelwood, who made over $27 million his ... (click for more)

Howard Nips Red Bank In McGary's Final Home Game

Two consolation games were played in the District 6-AA basketball tournament Monday night at Howard’s Henry Bowles Gymnasium and one was much more significant than the other. The Brainerd Lady Panthers had a strong fourth quarter to finally pull away from Tyner en route to a 48-34 victory while the Howard Hustlin’ Tigers escaped a hungry Red Bank team by a 71-68 final that was ... (click for more)

Howard Plays Like A "Miss Basketball" As Bradley Rips Lady Canes For 5-3A Title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – In each of the last eight seasons, Bradley Central coach Jason Reuter hasn’t come close to winning the District 5-3A Coach of the Year award, an award voted on by the league coaches. In those eight years, however, Reuter has directed the Bearettes to a district tournament championship. Every year. Just like clockwork. That’s a tradeoff Reuter ... (click for more)