Opinion » Letters

Templeton deeply needs a mental illness facility



The private, 162-bed mental illness treatment center proposed for our county has drawn a negative public reaction from residents of Templeton, its proposed location (“What's he building in there?” Jan. 29). The deep need for such a local facility has been fully documented by many trusted sources. However, the core of public opposition concerns the possible release of patients officially labeled “a danger to themselves and others” into the Templeton community following treatment at the facility. Citizen concern is understandable, and this letter addresses that concern.

The “danger to themselves and others” label is required by law for involuntary treatment and confinement of an otherwise free and law-abiding citizen, but it should be emphasized that the lack of treatment is what caused the “danger.” Those admitted are confined in a fully secure facility until diagnosed, medicated, and deemed safe for release. Those released have broken no laws, are not under arrest, and are responding to medication; they have private medical insurance or Medicare; and they will enroll in mental health treatment programs near their homes or families. They are safe.

They also are our parents, our children, our loved ones, and our friends. They are us.

-- Dan Biezad - San Luis Obispo

-- Dan Biezad - San Luis Obispo

-- Dan Biezad - San Luis Obispo

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