As I read the Sept. 16 letter from Cindy Wurgess regarding the suicide of her husband, it struck me as another heart-breaking tragedy, one of many unfortunate and unnecessary stories of how broken the mental health system is in Ohio, but also across the nation.
With several decades of experience in the mental health industry, that includes, my observation from the inside is of a system that fails individuals and families more often than one realizes. A sizable portion for the cause of such a broken system is the systems complexity that the consumer cannot understand, poor long term planning and inconsistent policies across the various levels of care, combined with the shortage of highly skilled staff at all levels, overworked staff, poor coordination of services, high turnover and the absence of a simple way to use system that the public understands. This causes confusion, frustration and a feeling that there is no one out there that will listen and provide an “understandable” and “correct” working solution for their needs. We hear and see ads for hot lines, special programs, combined organizational resources, but too many people are not receiving the comprehensive, coordinated quality care that they should be receiving.
We can do better and we must!
Richard Maye, Elida