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Mental health funding benefits the entire community

Register • Jul 25, 2014 at 3:56 AM

Having served 50 years as a board member of the Counseling and Growth Center in Erie and Ottawa counties, I am very familiar with the programs for mental health and substance abuse treatment, criminal justice clients, as well as programs for adolescents in our schools. Dr. Halliday, the director of our Mental Health and Recovery Board for many years, has shown his concern and financial support. Now he has found his prevention monies for our agencies reduced by 10 percent. What are our legislators thinking? Just read our police blotter. It is horrible. Vandalism, robberies, assaults, drug and underage alcohol consumption, etc., etc.

The jails and prevention centers are overcrowded, resulting in early release. Rehabilitation will help some, but they many times return to the streets. What we need is more prevention monies directed to our schools and support groups helping our youth and their families to ensure they stay out of trouble in the first place. Forty percent of unemployed workers are millennial youth, which is becoming a real problem. I applaud Rep. Redfern voting against H.B. 483 that reduces prevention monies in the state.

—Jim Fisher

Catawba Island

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