Re "Why government misunderstands mental illness" (Viewpoints, May 14): As a lifelong Democrat, I am deeply disappointed in Reps. Doris Matsui and Nancy Pelosi for sponsoring the meaningless and expensive Democratic response to HR3717, a bill crafted by the only psychologist in Congress that promises real help for the severely mentally ill. The Barber/Pelosi/Matsui bill rejects the Democrats' historic connection with the downtrodden while reinforcing all the bad stereotypes about Democrats.
Throwing money at the worried well will not help the severely mentally ill. Particularly ironic are the millions for school anti-bullying programs, the cause du jour of the mental health lobby, as the data shows these programs--which have nothing to do with mental illness--do not even reduce bullying, and may make it worse.
The Democrats fund fluff while the severely mentally ill continue to get shot by police and eat out of garbage cans because no one will help them. For shame, Democrats.
-- Mary Ann Bernard , Sacramento