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OUR READERS WRITE...

January 27, 2013
Salem News

Safety net for mental health, addictions services threatened

To the editor:

With the Chardon High School shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on our minds, it's time for Ohio to take stock of the safety net available for adults and children with a mental illnesses or addictions.

The safety net for mental health and addiction services in Ohio has been damaged by losses in funding, leaving many Ohioans without needed community services.

The ability to provide psychiatric hospitalization is limited. When services are scarce, fewer people get the help they need, and more mental illness and addiction is left untreated. This situation did not occur overnight; it has evolved over a number of years.

Recovery rates for mental illness and addiction are comparable to those of physical illnesses.

Individuals with a mental illness and/or addiction, when receiving appropriate treatment and support services such as housing, employment and peer support, can and do recover. Recovering individuals become productive members of our community by working, paying taxes, and keeping their families intact and healthy.

Ohio can do better. The need is real. The time is now.

We propose the following two-step approach:

First, the state must allocate additional General Revenue Funding in the 2014-15 budget for addiction and mental health prevention, treatment and support services.

All Ohioans need access to treatment and recovery supports so they have the opportunity to work and live meaningful, productive lives.

Individuals with untreated mental illnesses or addictions have total health care costs that are double those who do not have these conditions. With appropriate funding, we can reduce the number of people in our jails and prisons, unnecessary emergency room visits, and homelessness. With appropriate funding, we have the opportunity to save both lives and dollars.

Second, we encourage the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly to expand Medicaid coverage to individuals and families with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level as allowed by the Affordable Care Act.

Health insurance provides individuals with access to care and significantly improves health, quality of life, and mortality rates.

These two steps will help Ohioans in need of mental health or addiction services to recover and thrive.

They will secure Ohio's place as one of the most favorable states in the nation for new businesses, by giving employers access to a mentally healthy and drug-free workforce.

We recognize that Governor Kasich and Ohio's General Assembly have difficult decisions to make in the 14-15 biennial budget. However, when Governor Kasich recently announced an allocation of $5 million to help children and families facing mental health crises, he stated "we have to be concerned about the safety net that exists in our communities for the mentally ill."

Investing in the health and well-being of Ohio's citizens is the right thing to do and a sound investment in Ohio's future.

LINDA EELLS,

President, Columbiana County

Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness

KATHLEEN CHAFFEE,

Executive director,

Columbiana County MHRS board

Assault weapons throughout time have fought against evil

To the editor:

How do you define the term "assault weapon?" An assault weapon to me would be any item used to commit an assault. An example might be if someone picked up a chair and bashed someone else with that chair, that chair could be classified as an assault weapon. Various forms of martial arts teach how to use different parts of your body as a weapon, including your forehead.

If a person used their forehead to assault another person, I would consider that forehead to be an assault weapon.

Throughout all of history assault weapons of some type, (swords, clubs, slingshots, rocks, bows and arrows, and guns), have been used to fight evil.

Throughout history evil people, Hitler for example, have taken people's assault weapons, guns in particular. When evil takes your weapon, evil has the advantage. Don't give evil the advantage. Keep your weapons, all of them, guns, kitchen knives, chairs, and even your forehead. Understand that once they take the guns, kitchen knives, and chairs, they will come for your head.

President Obama says that it will take $500 million to implement his 23 executive orders, all of which are small steps toward taking away your assault weapons.

If you happen to be a working person, earning an income, then you are also paying taxes. The money that you are paying to the government is being used against you. That's "evil" at its best.

LARRY WILLMING,

Martins Ferry

War effort from the far left continues against Fox News

To the editor:

The war continues in an effort to silence Fox News. Elements on the far left have been at it for several years.

Not only are they trying to drive the programs off the air, but some loons have been snooping into the private lives of the commentators and other personal employed by Fox.

The fact that Fox News has continuity strived to present all the news complete and unaltered seems to rub the far left and the other networks the wrong way and the undisputed fact that Fox News consistency out stripe the other networks with ratings rubs more dirt in the wound.

I have been watching Fox News for 10 years and can think of no time when their rendition of the news was not given completely and without bias.

I won't deny that they tend to lean toward most conservative issues, however with the other three networks always pushing the lefts agenda Fox News offers a much needed balance.

When a issue comes up involving liberal and conservative matters members from both sides are invited to meet and debate. The debates are always informative and often entertaining. Fox News has members from both parties on their news staff.

Why is the far left so viciously trying to drive Fox News off the air? I believe they are afraid.

Afraid because they view Fox News as an enemy of their socialist agenda, which is the abolishment of our capitalist system, a bloated over size government leading us into the quagmire of a socialistic state.

LEON J. WHITE,

Columbiana

 
 

 

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