A Mother's 'Plea for a Son Who Can't Get Help'

My deepest sympathy goes to the mother (Commentary, March 30) who describes the living hell resulting from the effects of the severe, chronic schizophrenic that has victimized her son.

My daughter, age 47, has been disabled by that illness for almost 30 years. The cause of the disease is unknown but is probably congenital. At present medical science has no cure for this brain disease.

Treatment has ben pretty much relegated to county facilities in California. A recent study rates California in 42nd place among the 50 states for treatment of mental illness and Orange and Los Angeles counties are among the lowest-rated California counties.

Treatment is available but it requires cooperation of the patient, who cannot be committed, willingly, unless he has attempted to take his own life or someone else's. Sometimes that it is too late. Changes are necessary.

I think public mental health money goes mostly to a large bureaucracy of clerks, counselors, social workers, supervisors, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists. The patient is sort of an afterthought.



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