Editor:

A young teenager is depressed and takes a handful of pills. Luckily, she is discovered by her mom and rushed to the hospital where she is “Baker-Acted.”

She is treated medically and must remain in hospital for 24 hours. What type of care should she receive? How about “none?” She is left in a room with a "babysitter" and not one doctor or psychologist or counselor comes to talk to her. She has just attempted suicide. How does she feel being "incarcerated" in a hospital bed? Is this making the situation better? Not one person is helping her.

This is how our mental health concerns play out. After 24 hours, a psychiatrist pops in and asks the child if she is still thinking of killing herself. All she wants is to get out of there, so her answer is “no.” She is not stupid and she knows what he wants to hear. She is released. Then her parents make sure she receives all the treatment that is available.

There is an obvious problem with the lack of identifying and treating any mental health issues in our country. Do we leave someone with a broken limb and ignore it? No! Why don’t we have clinicians on staff at every school to help children cope with their issues? Why isn’t it part of the curriculum?

My solution is to create parenting seminars in every public school. Parents must attend these seminars and learn how to deal with their own emotional issues properly before they create monsters who then go on murderess rampages. The "thoughts and prayers" after the fact are meaningless.

Helene Sovern

North Port

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