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Your Life: Appropriate treatment is key to preventing mental illness crisis

Charlotte Lankard: It is interesting how we make a distinction between physical and mental health when the brain is simply another part of the body. If we have a sore throat, we go to the doctor immediately. If we are suffering with depression or anxiety, we put it off until we are in a crisis.
CHARLOTTE LANKARD Modified: July 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm •  Published: July 30, 2012

I immediately thought of the young man in Colorado who slipped through the cracks of getting the help he needed. The media are making him out be a monster, and yes, what he did was monstrous, but let us not forget he was once somebody's little boy.

Most mentally ill people are not violent, and those who are might not be if they receive appropriate treatment.

I spent time last week with a dedicated group of men and women at a statewide conference sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Stressed was the importance of early intervention.

That department, like NAMI, is always searching for adequate funding and resources. The public needs to understand the importance of what they do and support them because the next crisis may be caused by one of our own children who slips through the cracks.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at


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