To The Daily Sun,
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently expressed that she found "somewhat surprising" the concern of New Hampshire and Iowa voters about mental illness and substance misuse disorders. For Granite Staters whose lives affected by such disorders, it comes as no surprise. For those of us who live with mental health and/or substance use disorders, or love someone who struggles with such challenges, we know all too well that we are facing a crisis.
The "treatment" or, more accurately stated, lack of available and effective treatment for people with mental illness as well as for people with addictive disorders is a state and national disgrace. A prime example of this disgrace is the day Clinton made the comment there were 20 adults and four children in emergency departments throughout New Hampshire waiting for an inpatient psychiatric bed. Many of these adults and children will spend days "boarding" in the emergency department, waiting for a bed.
Can you imagine leaving someone having a heart attack, a diabetic coma, cancer or other medical crisis on a gurney in a hallway waiting for a bed or treatment? This is abominable and, sadly, not isolated to New Hampshire. Ironically, it is happening at a time when research over the past several decades has overwhelmingly determined that mental illness and addiction, like other medical conditions, are biological diseases. It is also important to note that research dollars for mental illness have lagged far behind other medical conditions.
The reasons for the shortcomings of mental health treatment are many but largely are the result of stigma and discrimination. For years health insurance failed to provide parity — reimbursement for mental health and addiction treatment at the same level as physical health care. This led to the closure of many hospital inpatient psychiatric treatment units and, more importantly, low or no reimbursement for community-based treatment. Despite parity now being the law of the land, a recent national report by NAMI, as well as national news reports, indicates that discriminatory practices toward people with mental illness and those with addictive disorders continue to be commonplace.
Examples include denials for prior authorization for treatment and for prescribed medications, as well as higher co-pays, deductibles and other self-pay mechanisms.
Not only is treatment for psychiatric conditions lacking, but studies cited by the National Institute of Mental Health indicate people with mental illness die 14 to 32 years earlier than their peers in the general population. Reasons for this disparity in life expectancy include high co-occurrence between mental illness and other medical conditions, complications due to weight gain from psychiatric medications, and general lack of access to effective medical care.
There are other significant ramifications of not effectively treating mental illness. In December 2012, the Portland Press Herald reported that half of the fatal law enforcement shootings in the U.S. are of people with mental illness and in most of those cases the responding officer was aware the subject was unstable. The article further concludes "that Maine and rest of the country have failed to employ methods or invest in training that could defuse life-threatening situations with mentally impaired people."
Criminalization of people with mental illness as well as people with addictive disorders is widespread. Our jails and prisons are full beyond capacity and have replaced hospitals as the largest "treatment" facilities for people with mental illness. But little treatment actually occurs for individuals who are incarcerated and recidivism rates and poor outcomes are much higher for prisoners with a mental illness or addiction. Study after study shows the economic benefits of providing treatment rather than incarceration, yet we continue to build more prisons and unnecessarily lock up people with behavioral health issues.
Many of our veterans suffer from mental health conditions. Though the factors which triggered or exacerbated these illnesses may be different than the civilian population, the underlying biological symptoms for depression, post-traumatic stress, suicidality, traumatic brain injury, or addiction are all the same. That our warriors, our strongest men and women, struggle with these illnesses highlights the fact that such disorders are not due to personal weakness or character flaws.
The lack of treatment access has far-reaching impact upon individuals, families and communities. Far too many people are homeless as a result of mental illness and/or drug addiction. The suicide rate creeps upward each year and will likely continue to do so until we make a commitment to improve mental health services. And, tragically, more than 300 New Hampshire residents died of drug overdoses last year – more than the number of suicide deaths or traffic fatalities.
The sad truth is that, like other diseases, if left untreated, mental illness and addiction can be fatal — and the impact of those deaths on families and communities is devastating.
Granite Staters are fortunate that many of our political leaders understand voters' concerns about these issues. Congressman Frank Guinta called mental illness the biggest problem facing New Hampshire during his campaign. He has reached across the aisle, and together with Congresswoman Kuster will be holding a bipartisan Mental Health Summit during May which is Mental Health Month. Senators Shaheen and Ayotte have also both been strong supporters of treatment for mental illness and addiction. Governor Hassan has been steadfast in her commitment to improving access to treatment and services for mental health and addiction. And much of our state Senate leadership has been supportive as well.
Sadly, the New Hampshire House of Representatives still doesn't get it and removed funding for key treatment components for both mental health and addiction which the governor had included in her budget.
On Tuesday, May 5, the Senate Finance Committee will hold its public hearing on the budget. Please come out and express your support for mental health and addiction services. Ask the Senate Finance Committee to fully fund the settlement agreement for the mental health lawsuit, to continue funding for the New Hampshire Health Protection Program provides 38,000 residents with access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and to include funding to allow current Medicaid recipients access to treatment for substance use disorders.
Thank you, New Hampshire and Iowa voters, for raising your voices about mental health and addiction. Hillary Clinton clearly heard you and we need to keep raising our voices to make sure all the other presidential candidates and political leaders do so as well.
Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire
The National Alliance on Mental Illness
Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2015 09:32
To The Daily Sun,
Iberdrola Renewables, a foreign, for-profit corporation in the business of developing industrial wind projects all over the world has sponsored "Predators of the Sky" at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Whether the Science Center is aware of it or not, they have accepted money from a corporation that kills and maims "predators of the sky" and then sponsors a program that rehabilitates the very creatures their projects are responsible for killing and maiming. How ironic.
Iberdrola Renewables has targeted the ridgelines of New Hampshire for industrial wind projects for a number of years now. They own and operate Groton Wind and the project in Lempster. Industrial wind projects are documented to kill and maim "predators of the sky" that are known to use thermal drafts for hunting and then often come into contact with the turbine blades. This is acknowledged as collateral damage. Industrial wind turbine developers can apply for a permit to legally "take" (meaning to maim or kill without penalty), protected birds such as those rehabilitated through the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.
Does Iberdrola Renewables think that by sponsoring such a program that it would improve their public relations with the people of New Hampshire? Is this their way of justifying the killing and maiming of "predators of the sky" here in our state? Maybe this kind of ironic sponsorship looks good to Iberdrola's stakeholders, investors, our legislators, or even the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, but don't let it fool you. It is as though Iberdrola Renewables is attempting to justify the killing and maiming of these amazing predators by sponsoring a program that would rehabilitate them. The problem is that you cannot rehabilitate the dead ones.
CARE Group (Citizens of Alexandria Rights Effort) is a local non-profit organization of resident volunteers providing education to the Newfound-Cardigan region about local, community self-government and empowering the citizens of Alexandria to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents and ecosystems. Participants of CARE Group petitioned for a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (RBO) in 2014 to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents and ecosystems of Alexandria by prohibiting the siting of industrial wind projects within the town.
President of CARE Group
Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2015 09:31
To The Daily Sun,
In response to James Veverka's insulting letter concerning God's holy word, the Lord Jesus Christ, John Demakowski, ect.: remember, James, you have insulted every Roman Catholic, every Protestant, and all other Christan church believers who believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior.
Gods word was before creation, it says in the beginning it was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, he (Jesus) was in the beginning with God (John 1:1 l 2). To dare to liken Gods word to the Quaran, an evil, demonic book that allows Islamic believers, to behead Christians if they won't convert to Muslim laws, The Daily News and papers, tell us all the horror stories. God's words tell us all of a loving God, who loves all, including you, James; all we have to do is believe the Gospel and receive the Lord Jesus and have eternal life. (John 3:16)
James, your personal opinion, about God, Jesus, Christian peoples, faith, ect. is a worthless lot of nonsense, not one word of hope for love for anyone. How sad.
How you prove there is a lake of fire James, is if you end up in Hell, "your choice". I encourage you chose Jesus Christ as your savior.
Today, I have read Professor Cracraft's letter in The Daily Sun. Remember you can only teach what you were taught, and out of books come man's opinions, not God's word. I was taught myself by professors who told us our ancestors were apes, monkeys, ect and God never created mankind. I never believed them. Period. They also taught us, the Big Bang Theory; a big bang does not create, it destroys. God created a world full of life and beauty. Look around, James, see the wonderful world God gave us; breath God's given air; enjoy the only planet in our solar system that has water, green grass, food, people. A big bang made all that? No way, James. Your letters to The Sun newspaper get worse, and worse. Now tell us, James, who is your God? Who do you love and serve. We Americans proclaim "In God we Trust" and sing "God Bless America"? What do you sing? Let us all know, James.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 09:42
To The Daily Sun,
Let's be honest, Jim Veverka creates more warming than he prevents when he begins channeling weather scientists declaring himself "king of truth" on global warming. It is a well known CO2 from BS whether from Jim or the 250 million water buffalo in Asia are major polluters of the atmosphere.
Begin with the basics.
Fact 1. There are few, if any scientists who deny global warming is likely happening. An observation made public more than 50 years ago.
Fact 2. Both sides in the debate have been caught lying while exaggerating data to further their beliefs.
Fact 3. Barack Obama has turned climate discussions into a "political farce" to grab a voting advantage in two western swing states soaked with tree huggers.
Beyond those facts there is literally agreement on NOTHING. The reason why there is no agreement is simple. The great climate change debate involves the minimalist of science while overflowing with GUESSES sufficient to fill a universe. Climate modeling (the operative word is MODELING) involves thousands of interlocked guesses producing conclusions believers (usually Democrats) peddle as truth based SCIENCE when the real truth is the conclusions are founded 99 percent on GUESSES. "Science" is as absent in global warming conclusions as Democrats are at a Republican summer picnic. Most damaging of all for believers the first 15 years of their modeling GUESSES were 100 percent dead wrong as they possibly could have been. Most perplexing of all, scientists have no idea why they were wrong. Credibility has become a major issue which has only turned up the volume and temperature of the rhetoric.
What specifically is causing warming? How much is natural? How much is sourced from humans? How high could warming go, and when might it go there are questions no human knows the answers to. But guesses to those questions disguised in 1 percent science is epidemic. When anyone, including Obama suggest they know the answers to those most complex scientific questions they are lying through their teeth. The more violent, frequent storms thesis Obama bandies about has been totally debunked by even the believing scientists. Such thinking is pure conjecture.
Jim refuses to use his noggin. Don't let that stop you from using yours. My weather man says beyond 10 days my guess about the weather is as good as his. This most basic fact sums up all you need to know about the debate. The democratic formula to create paranoia, followed by hysteria for political advantage originates from a mix 1 percent science, and 99 percent guessing what the weather will be. Not 10 days out, but 10,000 years out, dead nuts WRONG the first 15 of those 10,000 years.
To counter this insanity, flip a coin. Democrats can borrow one, or get one on a subsidy plan. Your guess on what the temperature will be in the year 12,015 is as good as Jim's. Even better than any PhD scientist, paid by government ( Obama) to declare global warming is certain to make you "fried chicken" so the scientist can keep his high, six figure job while Democrats improve their chances to win elections in green-soaked Colorado. Beyond that there are few truths to be found in what passes for "scientific" debate about climate change. A discussion that should more accurately be called the greatest GUESSING CON GAME in history.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 09:34
To The Daily Sun,
James Veverka says, "There is no evidence" for the supernatural realm in the natural, "because the natural world evidences itself, nothing more." God says, through the apostle Paul, the natural world is itself enough evidence of His existence that by it we should know that He exists. (Romans 1:20-22) Who should I believe, Jim or God? Let's see. I read a lot of Jim's letters and have caught him misleading his readers often. Please, I would not say this if on at least two occasions I had not uncovered Jim's error. God's word has always proven to be faithful and true. So who should I trust? I'll chose God, thank you.
It's interesting that Jim doesn't know how life happened. He also doesn't know that Jesus is an actual historic figure. Of God speaking through dreams and visions, Jim says, "There isn't any evidence that any of these experiences occurred for any other reason than neurologic ones." We do have physical bodies, this is true. We also have a spirit which is just as obviously true. Otherwise how do we know anything at all. Trying to find something that he could say was unquestionably true, Rene Descartes said "I think, therefore I am." That is not physical. That's spiritual. That God speaks to men and women also through dreams and visions is not with without evidence. He has been doing it for generations, to people all around the world. If He hasn't spoken to you in this manner you probably know someone to whom He has. It's not that it's not in evidence, but that the evidence is not admissible in the court of Jim's understanding. Jim says only physical evidence please. He attempts to create a catch 22. He accepts only physical evidence, then concludes there is no evidence of the supernatural realm.
This brings us back to Jim's denial that Jesus is an actual historical character. Jesus is the physical evidence. Jesus life is where the supernatural world and the physical world come together, in the deity and the manhood of Christ. And even though by all objective standards of judging history, Jesus lived. (Christians know He still does but that's another discussion.) Jim, against all reason, can't bring himself to admit it. It threatens his fragile world view — which the Rock made without hands will crush along with the coming world government. (Daniel 2:34-45). Which reminds me dreams and visions that are from God are usually predictive in nature. This makes for one of the ways that you can tell that they are from God. Do they come to pass?
Yes, Jim, your side is in control and increasing for now. But if you're a sportsman you know how fast things can change.
As to evidence, I think I have used the term quite correctly. Yet I think that you really don't understand faith. Firstly: the God kind of faith you can't even have unless God gives it. He will give it if you sincerely ask. If He gives it it opens up a door for you to have a relationship with Him. That relationship becomes a real and concrete thing even more so than the stuff of this world. Think about it Jim. Which is stronger, God who created everything or the stuff He created?
Jim are you humble enough to admit that those living generations before you, though they did not have the advantage of the increase in knowledge of this world that our generation has inherited, may have had a better understanding of revelatory knowledge of the supernatural realm than our generation.
Jim says, "The history of knowledge is a story of an ever-shrinking space within which to say something is an act of God." How does that make sense; except that it is the thought from an ego puffed up from an arrogant pride of someone who has come into possession of some knowledge of the world and because he has learned how some things work, he thinks that somehow evidences that there is no God, or that He does not perform acts in the physical world? It is not a logical thought process. It only evidences arrogance.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 09:25