Better mental health care should be national goal

info@islandpacket.comJune 19, 2013 

On behalf of the board of directors of the Beaufort County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, I applaud President Barack Obama for convening the June 3 White House Conference on Mental Health.

The conference marked an important milestone in the continuing national dialogue on mental health, which the president promised after the Newtown, Conn., tragedy in December. We look forward to participating at the local level and are committed to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness in Beaufort County.

NAMI Beaufort County is building new partnerships and focusing on new collaborations that include, and extend beyond, the traditional mental health community. Our outreach programs to schools, multicultural communities, churches, veterans and military families are in line with the president's call for helping young people, veterans and others in the community as we work together to create a better mental health care system.

We support the president's call to action and are eager to work with our national and state organizations and our community to address the tasks at hand. We must have an effective mental health care system that is truly accessible to all who need it, when they need it. This need has existed for a long time. We urgently hope that our community will begin to seriously address it.

Dick Males

Hiiton Head Island

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