To the editor:
I was so very grateful to see that two of our fine citizens,
Barry Schrader and Ivan Williams, spoke out in protest against
the closing of the Kishwaukee Hospitals Mental Health Center,
but where is everyone else? Doesnt anyone care? In speaking
to Michael Flora, the CEO of the Ben Gordon Center yesterday,
he told me that 4,000 clients are currently being served, with
130 to 150 of those clients of Reality House.
These are adults, children, and families, of which we are
one. They are your next door neighbor, the clerk in the store,
a business man, a young mother, a high-school or college student
momentarily overwhelmed with pressure.
They are everyones family and friends. Once in a while
they may need a meds change, a quiet time to regroup and adjust.
I realize these beds are not filled all the time, thank goodness
for modern medicine, but neither are the beds taken by cancer,
heart, pneumonia patients, etc., filled all the time.
A few years ago our family member had a medical problem due
to an accident, and was hospitalized for several days. It was
determined that therapy was needed to strengthen their legs and
become ambulatory again, and though our social-worker tried in
vain, there was not one bed available to our patient for some
simple therapy in all the local nursing homes she contacted.
We were forced to drive to Loves Park. We are elderly parents
and would strongly object to have to drive out of town in a mental
health situation, when the community has just been presented
with a state-of-the art multi-million dollar new hospital. That
seems quite shameful, when a very good unit had operated in the
It would be a disservice to the many who worked so hard for
years to bring this hospital to fruition, as well as to the 4,000
clients of our community who look to you for help when needed.