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Letter: Utah must increase services to mentally ill

Published August 20, 2014 4:23 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In 2002, I got lucky and ran into Robin Williams at Lake Tahoe where he was performing that night. Most of our talk was about the Winter Olympics that were going on in Utah. I found him to be approachable, pleasant to talk to and he made me laugh.

With Robin and many other people with depression or bipolar disease, it is not hard to understand why people with these conditions do commit suicide. Depression and bipolar are horrible diseases which can be treated just like high blood pressure, cancer, etc., through medication and counseling. Unfortunately America's mental health care system is getting less money, not more, to help people who have mental illnesses.

Presently, Utah is somewhere in the top 10 for people committing suicide. Utah ranks 5th nationally for youth suicides between the ages of 10 to 17. The Utah Legislature needs to find a way to increase funding for more mental health services in Utah so people with mental illnesses can get help before it turns into a crisis, as happened to Robin Williams.

Frank J. Smith





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