Letters to the editor on Breakthrough Club, survivors of suicide, health savings accounts, substandard plans, political hit job, JFK anniversary

11/21/2013 12:00 AM

11/20/2013 5:06 PM

Breakthrough is a model program

I was shocked and deeply dismayed upon reading “Without funds, Breakthrough Club may close” (Nov. 17 Eagle). I am an assistant professor at Newman University who has been supervising occupational therapy student interns at the Breakthrough Club for more than 15 years and has spent more than a thousand hours on site. The job that this organization does – efficiently and effectively – in maintaining and improving the lives of hundreds of Wichitans living with severe and persistent mental illness is, frankly, phenomenal.

All the crisis services in the world could not take its place, and Sedgwick County would be ill-advised, in my opinion, to allow Comcare to defund it. It is a model that mental health service providers across the state would do well to emulate.



Hard on survivors

Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide, leaving others to make sense of it. The term “survivors of suicide” refers to those coping with the suicide death of a family member or friend. This kind of grief is distinct. It can bring compounded pain: the terrible loss of a vital life, public shame and private second-guessing, amplified feelings of guilt and anger.

Every year, as the holidays approach, survivors across the globe gather at local sites to remember their loved ones, watch a worldwide broadcast and talk with local survivors, support group leaders and mental health professionals. We listen and address the reactions and questions this loss inevitably brings.

The Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition and Via Christi Health will sponsor our local gathering Saturday at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph, 3600 E. Harry, in the third floor McNamara Center. We’ll begin at 11 a.m. with a local panel and a worldwide broadcast hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A light lunch will be provided. There is no charge. Walk-ins are welcome but preregistration will help us plan. For information or to register, contact Denise Van Dorn, 316-858-0216 or Denise.VanDorn@ViaChristi.org.

No one would choose to be a survivor of suicide. We were thrust unwillingly into this journey. It’s a road best traveled with those who understand.



HSAs are solution

The focus of our health care system should be on liberty and freedom of choice. Open competition makes our system work. Health savings accounts, as recommended by retired surgeon Ben Carson, would solve all three problems – restore loss of liberty, restore freedom of choice, and offer health coverage at a cheaper cost than any government would. It would stop this National Security Agency style of knowing everything about everybody within a monolithic, monopolistic medical system.



Did Obama lie?

I have grown weary of hearing President Obama called a liar because he told people that they could keep their health insurance policy if they liked it. Doesn’t the teller of a lie have to know he is lying for it to be a lie?

Call him naive, shortsighted or even stupid for failing to ask just how many substandard policies were out there that would have to be canceled to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Why did no one else think to ask such a question, or why didn’t the insurance companies volunteer this information? Did someone or even several someones do this deliberately to cause the problems that it did? Or did Obama know and naively assume that those with substandard coverage would jump at the chance to obtain better coverage even at an increase in cost?

He did say, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Who in his or her right mind would choose a limited plan if a better plan were available at a reasonable cost? Think about it before you engage in name-calling.



Political hit job

I’m a former aide to Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, who has left the world of politics, but I want to pull the curtain back for my fellow Wichitans. When you see an unfounded letter from Wink Hartman (“Missing leadership,” Nov. 17 Letters to the Editor), have no doubt that it is an orchestrated political hit.

The truth is that Pompeo’s staff was at the Air Force tanker meeting last week, and Hartman should have known that Pompeo was in Washington, D.C., doing the job we elected him to do: voting on legislation, trying to stop the implementation of Obamacare and working to help create jobs in Wichita. Those involved will unanimously agree that Pompeo has been a tireless proponent of the tanker refueling program at McConnell Air Force Base.

Hartman’s letter was nothing more than politics.



Odd coincidence

Regarding all the interest in the John F. Kennedy assassination 50 years ago, just one odd coincidence to note: The dates for 2013 fall on the same days of the week as in 1963. Thus Nov. 22 has fallen on Fridays in both years, just as Thanksgiving again is in the last week of the month. This doesn’t happen every 50 years, probably owing to leap years, but it is interesting nonetheless.



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