Letters: Mental health reform; health care; child care


Mental health reform is long overdue

My perspective concerning mental health matters comes, firstly, as a family member of persons who fell into the public mental health system. It is also informed by my own experiences within the mental health system as well.

In my view, when someone is experiencing a crisis of one fashion or another, including acute episodes of "mental illness," whenever possible, the best -- most preferred -- bed and setting with which to experience healing and support self-defined recovery is found within one’s own residence or, otherwise, a small community-based, home-like environment with an array of services and supports offered on a voluntary basis.

However the problem is there has been too much focus and reliance on institutional type of beds and settings along the lines of the former Vermont State Hospital that are vastly dependent on the same old medical treatment model.

What had been lacking and sorely needed instead is the building of a much more robust community-based services system, one far less dependent on forced treatment and medication in general than has been the case up to now.

It is my belief that much of what the mental health reform bill (H.630) will be putting in place is certainly heading in the right direction toward attempting to achieve a more balanced approach in order to do so.

While this is something long overdue, it is most gratefully welcomed.



Vermonters are already in a health care crisis

I am writing today to address some of the negative advertising targeted at the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign. A video produced by Vermonters for Health Care Freedom claims that the new universal healthcare law will create a health care crisis for 80,000 Vermonters.

Article Continues After These Ads

In my view most, if not all Vermonters are already in the midst of a health care crisis. Private insurers are more interested in profit margins than in your or my health care needs. A universal health care system would not be driven by profit and would therefore make patient care its core mission.

Another concern raised in this video is that doctors will flee Vermont. I disagree. Doctors practice medicine with the intent of helping and healing people. What better place to practice medicine than a place where a patients’ ability to pay is never an issue? I think that doctors will flock to Vermont!

Lastly, the video decries the universal healthcare law as socialism and that it will limit personal freedom. To that I say, there is no greater freedom than the freedom from fear. Fear that I will get sick and not be able to pay for my own care. Fear of looking for meaningful, fulfilling work because I might not be able to get health insurance at a new workplace. Healthcare for all is one more step toward a truly free society.



Support Vermont Early Educators United-AFT

I am an early educator and a member of the Vermont Early Educators United-AFT organizing committee. I went to the Statehouse in Montpelier recently to call on Senator Hartwell and Senator Sears to respect our rights and our profession by supporting our right to collective bargaining. It was my first trip to the Statehouse since an elementary school field trip, and it was an honor to represent my colleagues from Bennington who are building our union.

My colleagues and I are organizing our union to raise the public understanding about our work and to gain respect for our profession.

We are the union. We are the experts on early care and education. There is no better voice to advocate for the needs of young children. The legislation we are advocating for does not create a union or force anyone to join one. It simply recognizes our fundamental right, and allows early educators to decide for ourselves, through a democratic process, to organize our union.

We want to thank Senator Sears for his long standing support and understanding of this issue. We hope that both Senator Sears and Senator Hartwell will stand with us and vote yes for our collective bargaining rights.




If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions