Unfortunately stigma is alive and well against those living with mental illnesses in our county. The furor against the development of a Behavioral Health Hospital in Templeton bears this out. What people do not realize is that mental illnesses affect many of us and those we love. And the need for services and treatment centers is imperative to help people get well.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five adults and one in five teens are affected by mental illness at any time. Do the math, and you will find that the 16 beds we have in our county to serve those in the acute phase of mental illness are woefully inadequate. People can and do recover from mental illness but only if they receive treatment during the times they are acutely ill. It is also important to have the support of family and friends in their community while ill.
The 96-bed behavioral health hospital proposed near Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton will allow children, adolescents, adults, and seniors to receive the treatment they need within their own county. Wrap-around mental health services will be available to them when they come home to their nearby communities.
This hospital should be built without any question. The owner/developer is committed to building this much-needed hospital and saving our county the large expense of placing people in hospitals outside our county. These extraordinary expenses are paid for by the taxpayers of San Luis Obispo County.
Our loved ones will be able to get the help they need within their own county.
The need is great. The time is now. Please support this worthwhile and needed project.
-- John Klimala - Nipomo