Letters to the Editor

Mental health

The average stay for mentally ill patients in continental Europe is four weeks, in England, it is four days, in the United States, it is two days.

In America, insurance companies rush patients out of behavioral health facilities before they can be reasonably stabilized. This causes unnecessary suffering to these patients and their families.

In St. Clair County, the number of beds in hospitals for the physically ill has increased. While two new hospital buildings are being built for the physically ill, one of the two remaining hospitals for the mentally ill is closing. Why? The answer is, money. Insurance companies are able to deny or limit necessary coverage because few push their state and federal legislators to provide parity.

Until our state and national legislatures require parity, those suffering mental illness needing hospitalization will not receive the care they need to heal faster and become productive members of our society. Please remember this when you meet or are contacted by our legislative representatives.

Gerald Montroy