My family has a one-hundred year history of chronic alcoholism and some drug abuse.

I have had friends and family with schizophrenia, and relatives with other serious mental health issues.

Many of my friends have suffered from depression.

I have attended multiple funerals for suicides that were my workmates and friends.

Does it help anyone when the people or families involved with mentally unhealthy people to not speak openly about the issues?

Could it benefit these people to better understand the definitions and dynamics of the mental health problems that rule their lives?

Would our communities be safer, our schools more productive, and our families healthier if public and media attention were brought to bear on what makes a mentally healthy person and why that is important and what we can do as a society to make mental-health happen?

Of course the children I work with in child protection (as a Hennepin County
guardian ad-Litem) seem to be the most vulnerable to mental health issues.

More than half of all children and juveniles in the Juvenile Justice System suffer from a diagnosis of mental illness. About half of those children have multiple serious psychosis.

The statistics are about the same for children in Child Protection Systems.

It would serve us well to approach the issue with a desire to help. The cost to us today in failed schools, overburdened health systems, and truly dangerous inner cities is reaching a crescendo. It has become dangerous and painful for many families just to live in certain parts of our cities.

We would save real money by learning about the solvable problems that plague our children (and it would be the right thing to do).

Email this to your newspaper or state representative with a personal note with your own story.

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