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Mental health care in Iowa is a tragic failure

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 12:38 p.m. CST

To the editor:

Recently, a very loving and wonderful son, father, grandfather, brother and relative and friend to many more took his own life because of the failure of the mental health system throughout Iowa.

He knew he needed help and he wanted it.

He was taken in by one mental health facility, but they kept him for only three days. He did not want to go home, but they said that is all insurance will allow.

Later, he was taken to other mental health facilities, but his loved ones were told, “Take him home, we have no bed for him.”

In essence, they were sending him on his final journey.

It is a fact that a person who commits a felony in this state is not going to be turned away (from prison) because there is no room, which is as it should be. But the help for a person with mental health problems should far exceed those of a felon.

I urge all of our elected officials and health care professionals out there to do more to help those out there with mental health problems.

If people can be saved by this letter, then maybe that man’s death will not have been in vain.

Bill Brown


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