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Dear Abby: Better mental health care may prevent future violence

Dear Abby: I have listened to our president and various candidates comment on gun control after the shooting at the college in Oregon. Do you remember the saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people”? Gun control is not going to stop this.

What IS needed (or at least would help) is more mental health care. It seems every time a person takes the notion to shoot others, someone says, “He was depressed.” Never during the 20 years I have battled depression have I ever wanted to shoot anyone. There have been times when the urge to shoot myself was almost overwhelming.

Abby, I’m writing this to defend those of us who are truly fighting depression.

– Depressed in Texas

Dear Depressed: Misinformation about mental illness is a contributor to the stigma that surrounds it. The triggers that have led to the plague of mass shootings in this country are the result of individuals with severe psychosis and the impossible task their families have faced in getting their loved ones the treatment they needed.

Ex still in contact

Dear Abby: The man I lived with for 25 years, “Craig,” and I have split. It was my decision. He now has a new woman in his life, and she is pregnant. Craig and I share a 23-year-old son.

Craig calls me often. He’s my best friend and I wish him the best, but I get the feeling he is unhappy with this woman and feels trapped.

The woman has forbidden him to have contact with me so he has to sneak the calls. Should I not talk to him anymore, or leave it to him?

– Sympathetic Ex in Virginia

Dear Ex: If Craig needs counseling, he should be getting it from a professional. His lady friend obviously views you as her rival, which is why she has forbidden him to contact you.

It’s time to ask yourself how being in the middle of this makes you feel. If the answer is “not good,” then tell Craig you don’t want to cause problems in his new relationship, and sneaking around is dishonest and childish.

When to clean restroom

Dear Abby: I am a woman who works in an office building. What’s the proper etiquette when the cleaning service is cleaning the restroom?

– Restroom Etiquette

Dear R.E.: I don’t think there is a rule of etiquette regarding this. When the cleaning crew (or janitor) is in the restroom, there is usually a sign posted to that effect. In many cases, if the janitor is a male in a women’s restroom, he will immediately exit the room. However, if that doesn’t happen, it’s then up to the individual to determine if her call of nature is so urgent it must be heeded immediately.