November 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.

Mental health needs are apparent

by J. Patrick Reilly

The need for improved mental health services, especially for those with struggles with the law was apparent as I sat in the courtroom Tuesday covering a few court cases.

One of those present for a plea hearing was asked if he was receiving help with his mental health issues.  That person, a resident of the Law Enforcement Center for several months, said “yes, as much as I can do at the jail.”

That person admitted to having ADD and Schizophrenia.  He is receiving medication which makes him groggy at times.

The need for mental health services, especially for those who struggle to stay within the law, is apparent more often than not.

In another appearance the person has been suffering with alcohol addiction and struggles with other drugs which has made him a threat to safety at times.  He has been ordered to “do better” and received lengthy probation to try.

But is what is being done enough?

It is far to easy to turn away and say it doesn’t affect me so why should I worry?

But aren’t we supposed to help our fellow man when there is a need to do so?

I walked away feeling a little helpless but with the hope that somehow the mental health issues we face in our county can be addressed at some level.

I salute the caregivers who try and help those with mental issues and I hope in the future more services can be available for those in need.