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WE MUST RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESSES

Hopefully, The News article, "No perfect prescription," will begin to raise awareness about schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. No perfect prescription is an appropriate title because there is no magic pill that can cure schizophrenia. It is a severe and chronic mental illness that can be manifested in different ways.

The article should not be used as the model for what characterizes a person with schizophrenia. It should be taken for what can happen in a most extreme situation. The three individuals highlighted were three incidents that characterized severe behavior. People with schizophrenia are able to maintain long, productive lives with the appropriate community support and treatment.

Community members need to understand the characteristics of mental illnesses and to be educated about community resources that can enhance the lives of individuals with mental illnesses. Mental health professionals need to advocate and design programs that are evidence-based. With many programs having restricted budgets, novel ideas need to be developed and researched for effectiveness.

Ian D. Crosby

Rochester

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