In 1897, Emile Durkheim, a French Sociologist, wrote the first known study of suicide.  I know that, as it was a source in a MA Degree thesis on Political Participation, and Alienation.  I got the numbers right, and the subjects were 400 college students. With some diseases like Measles, you get it, you know it, and if you have a vaccine it leaves quicker than not.   With mental illness, we do not know when joy becomes mania, sadness becomes depression, apprehension becomes anxiety, and fear becomes phobia (Time Magazine-November, 2019)!

I had spend years on the Board of Harbor House at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and saw dual diagnoses adults with it, and a host of others that I placed some in Jobs or developed job fairs for those seeking work, and many were seemingly secure in their placement at apartment buildings used to house such adults-mostly on the lower strata of life.

We know that 450 million people world-wide suffer from some mental health condition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and in the US, statistics indicate that 1 in 5 adults will suffer some form of mental illness.

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Sadly, over 21% of children 13 to 18 suffer some form of mental illness and 13% of children 8 to 15 also exhibit some form of mental illness. Statistics show that 70% of Juvenile Delinquents exhibit some form of mental illness, and the ticket for all of the above now is $2.5 trillion dollars, but is expected to go over $6 trillion world-wide!

I do have must space left here, but some of the missing treatment dollars are in actuality lost via the inaccurate portrayal of people in movies and books, and the names applied to such adults or children are horrible.  I remember Nixon proposed money to fight Cancer, but let me ask you -Is it not time to develop more funding for the mentally ill, and educate our overall population better?  Seasons and holidays often bring the sadness of such illnesses, and their relation to other early life traumas, like substance abuse and more. 

I should note that there are 21 million Americans with drug or alcohol issues, but only 1 in 10 seek treatment (source: Journal of the American Medical Association)! I use to testify before the State Legislature on Drug issues for the 24th District.  Senator Littell knew the issues well!

Bill Weightman, Hardyston