Re "Families must step up and care for mentally ill" (Viewpoints, July 15): Mental illness is a broad label, but when it comes to those who have been diagnosed as being psychotic and require anti-psychotic medication in order to function, there may need to be a different protocol in their handling. When the family finds out their child has a psychotic brain illness, they need to be educated as to what that involves and most of the time it is a lifetime of care, just as a family would take care of a brain-damaged child.
Unfortunately, responsibility is for a lifetime. Parents early on should make arrangements for who would take care of their child when they can no longer do so. The mental health system should make parents aware of the benefits of continued family therapy, legal public or private guardianship, conservator-ship, declaration of incompetence through the court system, etc. Funding should be made available for this education.
-- Laraine Silberstein, Sacramento