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Letter

There have been a lot of serious problems for people who have mental illness since case management and other essential services have been cut. People who have psychiatric disabilities rely on their case managers to help them with the paperwork to keep their benefits, healthcare coverage and the assistance that they need, and they provide help with housing, transportation and things like grocery shopping, doing laundry, etc.

I believe that the working people who pay into Social Security, Medicare and state and federal taxes, that fund all of these programs, have the right to want some significant accountability from "both sides of the desk."

People who have mental illness and/or addictions should be encouraged to stay on their medications, to stay clean and to do what is suggested by their providers. When a consumer feels violated by a professional or a psychiatrist, there are grievance procedures that should be taken seriously.

I really believe that people who have mental illness who are higher-functioning can recover and reach their potential, and that the ones who, by no fault of their own, are unable to, but participate in treatment, are "above and beyond the call!" Providers and consumers need your support.

David Cockrell,

Missoula

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