The Ottumwa Courier

June 26, 2013

Mental health care is needed

Ottumwa Courier

---- — The recent article about the Ottumwa hospital doctors and staff going to Haiti was a good story.

But people in Ottumwa, Wapello County and southeast Iowa who suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse issues do not have some white knight riding to the rescue.

Our local and area medical providers need to bring in mental health doctors here and reopen a mental health/substance abuse unit. A community this size should have both.

What is it going to take? An increase in the number of suicides before we take action? People are falling over the cliff.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am bi-polar and have had to seek help, but I have to travel to Iowa City or Des Moines.

I must say thank God for Southern Iowa Mental Health and Dr. Mascaro. If we did not have them, people might just fall through a fatal crack.

We need more funding from the state to help county CPCs and more efforts to bring more doctors to southeast Iowa.

We must address the needs of the people of Ottumwa, Wapello County and southeast Iowa with mental health needs.

Ken Malcom