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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Assisted Outpatient Mental Care Needed

August 03, 2003

Re "Help Schizophrenics Lead Secure, Productive Lives,": July 20:

As someone who has worked in the health-care field, taught health-care economics and had a family member in the Orange County mental health system, I can strongly attest to Carla Jacobs' commentary on our county's "revolving door" policy for treating patients with schizophrenia.

Unless these patients continue their anti-psychotic medication, readmission is almost inevitable.

The current expenditure by Orange County for inpatient mental health services is far greater in the long term than the expense needed to maintain an effective Assisted Outpatient Treatment program.

In addition to the savings for taxpayers (something everyone would benefit from) Assisted Outpatient Treatment would enable the severely mentally ill to have more productive, happier lives.

I strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to implement this program as soon as possible.

Charles J. Bruno, M.S.

Huntington Beach

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