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Letter: Editorial on Larry Bierl failed to address problem

Your editorial on Larry Bierl fell horribly short. “Perhaps the best we can hope for is for more people to become aware of the dangers of Code Blue conditions…”

Really? Perhaps the best we can hope for is that we enact legislation mandating care for anyone with anosognosia who is engaging in behavior that puts them at risk. (Anosognosia is a symptom of mental illness. Those with this symptom are unable to realize they are ill. It is caused by damage to the brain’s right frontal lobe.) Perhaps the best we can hope for is that there is actually care available for these individuals once it is mandated.

Kendra’s Law, which provides for assisted outpatient treatment, has done much good, but it is far too limited in scope and has no teeth.

Every day in Western New York, families try to secure care for their mentally ill loved ones and are turned away. These families live with the knowledge that their loved one’s brain becomes more damaged during each passing day without treatment.

Frequently, the ill individual goes missing. The family has no idea if their son/mother/brother is alive or dead. Imagine finding your heart in your throat every time the phone rings because that call may be the one telling you your loved one has killed himself – or someone else.

Sadly, our mental health care system is broken. That we allow it to remain so is a national disgrace.

Theresa Fleig

Orchard Park

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