I enjoyed the commentary of Sunday, Oct. 15, “A mental illness and homelessness success story.” I applaud Lavi Luca for her work in connecting people with disabilities to safety nets such as NAMI, New Horizons Behavioral Health and, I would like to add, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Sue Marlowe, affiliated with NAMI, does an outstanding job traveling around the state of Georgia and training police officers to recognize mental illness in people with whom they come in contact.
I see a progressive movement on the horizon as we educate people to the perceived stigma and, sometimes understandable, ignorance about mental health. The brain is an organ, but unlike other organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc., we oftentimes treat the brain as if it should help itself.
Environment and nurture are key elements regarding the health of any individual, healthy and unhealthy, It is so encouraging to see new alternatives in housing becoming available. These are homes and apartments that provide aesthetic, comfortable, safe and health environments, resulting in healthy, independent consumers.
NAMI and New Horizons are champions of this new and progressive movement. The days of Skinnerian philosophies are waning, thank God, as we reject dark, stifling, unsafe residential facilities for our mentally ill spouses, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends.
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I challenge us all to become part of the solution and learn how we can become part of the treatment of mental illness.
Ann Gardner, Midland
As congress debates a new tax bill, there is much discussion as to which current tax exemptions to keep and which ones to eliminate. It appears that a favorite idea is to eliminate the current exemption on state and local taxes. This could lead to a tax increase for many middle-income families.
It is ironic that there are those who would advocate the elimination of tax exemptions for mandatory state and local taxes on homes, businesses, land and income while keeping the exemptions on voluntary contributions to 401(k) savings accounts and charitable gifts. It would be inconsistent and unfair to give a tax break to voluntary contributors while denying that same tax break for those who pay mandatory state and local taxes.
Robert A. Clay, Desoto, Ga.
I am an African-American civil rights leader in Lee County, and am a bishop in the New Testament Potter’s House Full Gospel Church. As such, I strongly support faith and family values. I have almost always supported Democrats in the past and probably will again in the future, but am independent-minded, and do what I believe is best for Alabama. I am supporting Roy Moore for election to the U.S. Senate.
I believe Moore has a great heart for the little guy (his Supreme Court record supports that). I admire Moore’s stand on the Ten Commandments and his support for traditional marriage. I recognize that gays have their rights also. I wish Moore were better on the immigration issue and gun control, but Luther Strange attacked Moore for not supporting Trump’s wall, and big Luther had the NRA’s backing, so Moore is more moderate on those issues.
I have a heart for children, unborn and born, and it bothers me greatly that Doug Jones is so openly pro-abortion. Abortion has stripped many babies out of their mothers’ wombs, and has cost the African-American community millions of lives and voting rights across America.
I am also sick of Jones sympathizers and the press demonizing Roy Moore. Moore is a very decent man and deserves the support of all Alabamians, regardless of race, sex, party or independence.
Arthur L. Dowdell, Auburn
No treat for pets
This Halloween, pet owners partaking in frightening family fun should remember to keep all their little ghouls and goblins safe — including the four-legged ones.
Tricks for treats? Only if those treats are safe for pets, since many Halloween candies can be toxic to animals. Chocolate and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be particularly dangerous if ingested, so keep your pet from sniffing around the candy bowl.
With trick-or-treaters roaming the streets, pets can become disoriented and scared. Be sure to provide a safe, quiet space they can retreat to if needed, and watch the door for escape artists: many pets will try to disappear outside if given the chance.
Keeping your pet safe this Halloween doesn’t have to be tricky. With a few simple precautions, the entire family can safely enjoy the holiday’s spooky scares.
Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer, American Humane