Mental health concerns are broad
Every time there is a national tragedy, there is an immediate need to classify the perpetrator as “mentally ill.” It serves to separate “us” from “them,” and make “us” feel better about ourselves. But it does two other things potentially as detrimental.
For starters, it reinforces the inaccurate stigma that those who are mentally ill are prone to violence. And by doing so makes it less likely that those who are having actual mental health concerns will raise their hand and get the help they need.
Have you ever lost a job? Been through a divorce? Relocated? Sent a child off across the country for college? Retired? Mourned the passing of a loved one? Then you too have been touched by one or several of the daily activities that create the need for comprehensive, mental health services right here in south-central Kansas. Twenty percent of the people reading this had, or will have, a mental health concern during 2017. And another 20 percent will have one in 2018. If you know more than four people, then odds are pretty good that you know someone who needs the services provided by the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas.
Eric Litwiller, Wichita
Epilepsy awareness month
Most people don’t realize that after breast cancer awareness month comes epilepsy awareness month. More than 3 million Americans have epilepsy or a seizure disorder, and I am one of the thousands fighting for a cure.
Epilepsy or seizure-related deaths kill 55,000 people a year, which is a higher number than breast cancer. Yet you don’t see epilepsy being supported by the NFL by wearing purple. The Dallas Cowboys don’t sell purple merchandise in their online shop. Hallmark doesn’t make a special epilepsy awareness ornament for Christmas time. Ford Motor Co. doesn’t raise $133 million for epilepsy awareness. Can you tell me that you’ve seen Yoplait yogurt with purple tops?
Just like breast cancer, epilepsy is a cruel disease that affects innocent people. I don’t understand why they aren’t treated equally. There is no cure and we have very little funding for research.
As someone affected by epilepsy, I strongly encourage you to get educated over epilepsy. My life or the life of another may depend on you.
Sienna Paoni, Girard
Adjusting the volume
Federal Communications Commission rules require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. In the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, Congress directed the FCC to establish these rules, which went into effect on Dec. 13, 2012.
I believe cable companies are violating this requirement with every commercial that is shown. It is more than annoying to have to either mute or turn down the volume during most of the commercials. I am hoping Mark Bennett, Sedgwick County District Attorney, looks into this matter and determines whether these companies are in violation of this statute.
Greg Perkins, Augusta
To Americans for Prosperity
I am a registered Republican. Don Schroeder is my respected representative to the Kansas legislature — a man of integrity and intelligence, sensitive to his constituency and seeking the best for all people. He is a model of excellent representative government, having learned and earned his role as a discerning, conserving and compassionate moderate in Topeka.
Mailers from Americans for Prosperity-Kansas malign Schroeder with tawdry tactics of propaganda. AFP seems, as yet, to advance the cause of increasing the financial capital of those who are advantaged and already prospering by actively decreasing public understanding and financial support for the growing population of disadvantaged, poor and oppressed people who deserve to discover, develop and treasure their unique human capital.
The foreseeable casualty of this short-sighted AFP social-governmental agenda, as I understand it, is the essence of the American dream: we all lose, for we are connected — forever.
Trickle-down financial policies might become workable if our goals were sharply redefined by a radical life commitment to seek, develop and treasure the human capital invested in every person at creation — at inception — rather than to seek, accumulate and treasure financial capital by every means possible.
Walter Friesen, Hesston
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