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DeKalb Daily Chronicle Sunday, March 15, 2009
Letters to the Editor

Case for mental health unit is clear

To the editor:

The County Mental Health Board’s public forum was a resounding success with an estimated 100 people in attendance and 15 private citizens making presentations. Fourteen of them came down on the side of keeping the hospital’s mental health unit operating. Testimony was heartfelt and to the point. The case was clearly made that we need the Center for Behavioral Health re-opened. It is amazing that 100 people took time to come out for such a sensitive and sometimes stigmatized issue.

But here’s the bad news: Only five of the 18 members of the Kishwaukee Hospital Board bothered to show up for the forum they were each invited to. Their absence sadly shows their contempt for mental health care at their “community” hospital.

In my comments I requested four simple things: (1) Withdraw their application to the state seeking to close the unit; (2) conduct a nationwide search for a qualified mental health unit director; (3) let that person hire and train a staff; (4) restore the trust of admitting psychiatrists who have lost faith that this hospital cares about mental health.

The director of the closed mental health unit Dr. Fatima Hadi told the audience there is not as much need for inpatient care anymore. Has she been reading the news about the crises among families who are out of work, the stress of returning veterans from Iraq, and the fact there were 60 attempted suicide victims in our county last year who were brought to the hospital by the Sheriff’s Department alone?

And I was sorry to find out that the Ben Gordon Mental Health Center is caught up in the contractual entanglements of providing the unit director to the hospital, so their public position on its usefulness has to be neutral. If the unit has been closed since November why is Dr. Hadi still being paid to manage it? These are federal grant funds paying for her services, our tax dollars. Maybe they have to spend all the grant monies or be required to give some back?

What is wrong with this picture? Who cares about mental health patient needs when the unit is shut down but the hospital and the Ben Gordon Center still keep the grant money? What are we getting for our tax dollars? Not mental health care, that’s for sure.

Barry Schrader

DeKalb County Citizens for Better Mental Health Care

DeKalb

Kish Hospital gets state approval to close the Mental Health Unit

Mental Health Advocate- October 2009

Dr. Foroutan Letter to the State

the DeKalb County Citizens for Better Mental health Care

State decision on mental health unit postponed

PUBLIC HEARING TRANSCRIPT

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE

Letter to the Editor 1

Letter to the Editor 2

Letter to the Editor 3

Letter to the Editor 4

Letter to the Editor 5

Letter to the Editor 6

Letter to the Editor 7

Letter to the Editor 8

Hospital execs' salaries revealed

Letter to the Editor 9

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

NAMI Letter

Highlights of Application

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The columnist can be reached via email at :

barry815sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115