Letter: Understanding mental illness

Valeo Behavioral Health Care was founded 50 years ago as the Shawnee Community Mental Health Center. (File photo)

Your recent editorial was right on target. The 12-week NAMI Family to Family Workshop was excellent. As a non-mentally ill citizen, I learned a great deal from the instructors and participants, all of whom had mentally ill family members.


For more than a decade, criminal justice agencies in Topeka have undergone CIT (crisis intervention team) training. Today, a majority of the officers who work at the Topeka Police Department, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and the Shawnee County Jail have taken the 40-hour CIT training. The principal purpose of this training is to take mentally ill people who are arrested to Valeo Behavioral Health Care for a mental health evaluation. This evaluation process is a valuable tool used to divert the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system and get them the treatment they need. Thank goodness for Valeo.

Some individuals, depending on the nature of their crimes, require incarceration. Corrections officers who manage and supervise these individuals need the CIT training to help mentally ill inmates succeed in jail or prison.

Here’s one big challenge confronting Topeka: when these inmates have completed their sentences and get released back to the community, they require good supervision and programs to ensure that they take their medication and go to alcohol/drug treatment sessions. Many mentally ill individuals face the challenge of overcoming alcohol and drug addiction. What is badly needed is improved public understanding of this situation.

This requires education, and a good place to get it is at the NAMI Family to Family program. There is no charge for this training.




Letter: Work of Robert Bugg inspirational

The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day stirs our emotions. In the darkest days of racism and oppression, common people found... Read more

Letter: Trump’s stability should be called into question

If President Trump is so very stable, why do so many think he should be evaluated not just for a physical exam... Read more

Letter: Lowering of the president by his critic amusing

It’s not surprising that Hillary Clinton’s sore-losing supporters, reacting like futile school-yard bullies, have determined that President Trump is in dire need... Read more

Letter: Lessons can be shared from Kansas Lottery distribution

The beginning of the second semester is the time I give my math students a lesson on the lottery to learn about... Read more