Letters to the Editor

Burt Johnson: Mental health help

Thank you for highlighting the proposed mental health legislation being considered by Congress in your Aug. 29 editorial “ Confronting crisis.”

The North Carolina Psychiatric Association and our national organization, the American Psychiatric Association, applaud U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, and we support many of the provisions in this bill. NCPA urges Congress to move this bill forward through the process toward refinement and ultimate passage.

As you noted, mental health reform in North Carolina has been tumultuous over the years. Mental illness is a brain disorder, and its effects tear through families and communities in costlier ways than most physical illnesses’ effects are felt. It is imperative that our country acts quickly to strengthen mental health care.

Likewise, North Carolina must increase access to mental health care – both inpatient- and community-level resources. We are glad that U.S. Reps. Murphy and Renee Ellmers, among others, have made this challenge a priority.

Burt Johnson, President, N.C. Psychiatric Association, Raleigh