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Mailbag: Mental health services can prevent tragedy

I appreciate Benjamin J. Hubbard’s take on angels and demons, and the goodness of most people, and I respect the turn to religion to process events such as the tragic massacre in Seal Beach (“Our angels are stronger than demons,” On Faith, Oct. 19). Scott Dekraai, the alleged Seal Beach shooter, is a severely disturbed individual. The tragedy didn’t have to happen. I suggest another practical approach that would tap into concrete responses by the angels:

Many people in our society are suffering from real neurobiological disturbances, ranging from depression and other mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Programs to help treat these conditions are routinely underfunded, defunded and stigmatized.

Everyone in society is affected by these illnesses. Mental illnesses take up more hospital beds than heart disease and cancer combined, and many (most?) people with mental illness who should be hospitalized or under treatment aren’t receiving any care at all. Sadly for them (and us), many end up homeless, in the penal system, adding to employers’ costs due to absenteeism, consuming precious resources of law enforcement, etc. Society could save money and lives by providing better societal support.

It is estimated that one in four people is affected by mental illness! We, individually and as a society, would do all of us a favor by promoting programs and funds to address the problems. Nonprofits are struggling financially to provide services as they work to eliminate the stigma that inhibits so many of the afflicted from seeking help!


May all you angels tap into your energy and apply it to making a difference via funding for programs that address the core issues and programs regarding mental health.

Karen L. Niles

Huntington Beach

The writer is a volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Orange County Chapter.



Let God lead our city, nation

There are many gods, many religions; however, the true God is the one who created you and me, the heaven and the earth, and all therein. He is the father of you and me and Jesus Christ.

We, as a nation, are called to be a city set on a hill; a light of mercy and peace as an example of the God who founded our nation.

Instead we have become a nation bullying the world with our power and might. Our lawmakers bind the people with senseless laws rather than making laws that protect and guide the people.

We, the Piecemakers, have chosen to obey God rather than man and will continue to do His will, not only for our conscience’s sake, but for the good of our country — long may she live after we have left her, and with God’s help may she become once more the example to the world that the God we profess to worship is indeed, a God of mercy, righteousness and peace toward all.

Marie Kolasinski

Costa Mesa