Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies have been drowning out our voices by their dominance of the information supplied to the mental health field and society at large.
Daniel B. Fisher
The writer is president of the National Empowerment Center and the author of “Heartbeats of Hope.”
To the Editor:
Re “The Failed Quest for Community Mental Health Centers” (editorial, Oct. 16):
Since 1988, I’ve watched the rise of community-based care and its disintegration — first, while running groups on a locked unit at Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, then as a psychotherapist in a community mental health clinic for over two decades, and most recently as director of that same clinic, tasked with fixing the financial deficit.
I wholeheartedly agree with the editorial board — America has neglected people with serious mental illnesses for far too long. High-quality care exists. Our vibrant, caring staff members are attuned to the compounding traumas of poverty and racism and dedicated to supporting people with serious mental illness. The problem is that we are flooded by the demand and don’t have the resources to pay competitive wages to retain or attract needed staff while private psychotherapists earn triple what we offer.
This is not sustainable. Insurance payments and grants are insufficient. We need to push state and federal legislators to fund mental health infrastructure. Without this, community-based programs like ours won’t survive. And when they go, many years of expertise will be lost.
Ann T. Augustine
To the Editor:
Re “Conservatives Need Therapy, Too,” by Meghan Daum (Opinion guest essay, Oct. 16), a conversation with Dea Bridge, a conservative therapist:
I found this interview relatively innocuous until I got to the part where Ms. Bridge betrayed her ignorance about the anger, anxiety and trauma that Donald Trump inflicted — and still inflicts — on at least half the country. She said of the idea that so many of us have had the symptoms we’ve had because of him: “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Why would you let one person in …….