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LETTER: More help needed to address mental health

To the editor:

I would like to give a large kudos for learning more about metal health issues to the law enforcement officials of Alexandria — thank you!

However, we have a huge lack of facilities and professionals in rural areas, including Alexandria. I've been in the system for many years. I also told a friend to go see my doctor and she was able to see him but would have had to wait a year to get in at LMHC.

We desperately need more help and funding in this area. Why do you think there's been such an epidemic of drugs, alcohol, etc.? Because people have very unhappy and usually can't afford to see specialists, or it takes a major crisis to get the attention needed, especially for younger people. The sooner they get help, the better off they and many others would be.

I've struggled for most of my life with depression and anxiety, but unfortunately, I wasn't believed, was labeled a whiner, etc. Now I'm 60 but because of the stigma and populace ignorance, I will be scarred for the rest of my life and so will many others, unfortunately.

Also, because of this ignorance and stigma, I suffer from PTSD, just like the men and women who've been in wars. Please get funding for these poor souls. They would be a lot better off. It should be right up there with heart disease and cancer, but yet it's at the bottom of the totem pole. And people wonder why the world is going to hades-in-a-handbasket. All I can honestly say to that is: "Well, duh!"

Erin Weatherwax

Alexandria, MN

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