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Thursday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Talking mental health</b>

EDITOR: Thank you for publishing Cynthia Tuttelman's Close to Home column ("Let's talk about mental illness," Aug. 4). It seems as if mental illness isn't openly discussed unless a crime has been committed and the public is reeling from shock.

One reason the ill (and their families) are still stigmatized — even after years of progress in education and treatment — is that mental illness remains so mysterious, so frightening. It's often easier to view people suffering these disorders as monsters or freaks that belong in the shadows.

Yet any of us could be touched by mental illness — either directly or indirectly — at anytime. My mom was schizophrenic, and I grew up watching her go through periods of extremely high function as a civil engineer and lows where she quite literally lost everything. Witnessing her courageous struggle, I learned not only the meaning of bravery but also the strength of her desire to be a contributing member of society.

With the great strides made in studying the brain, we owe it to ourselves and one another to educate, discuss, facilitate recovery wherever possible and to welcome these folks into society in safe, supportive ways.

IRENE BARNARD

Santa Rosa

<b>An Evans fan</b>

EDITOR: In your Saturday article reporting that state Sen. Noreen Evans may not seek election to another term in 2014, you defined the 2nd state Senate District as "a huge swath of the North Coast from Marin to Humboldt County." While this is true today, due to redistricting it will not be the same for the 2014 election.

Fortunately for some of us in the north end of the state, the new district includes Trinity and Del Norte counties.


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