Allen Sigafus, Mankato
The Free Press
— This is in response to the editorial in the Dec. 23 Free Press. Mental health is only one of many programs that need to be studied by a citizen’s commission.
Public officials, focusing upon their own interest have been unable to make needed reforms. The taxpayers have been “ripped-off” as many people who are mental ill have not been served.
In the book “Common Sense Government,” I share information to show that as much as $2 billion of mental health funds has been misspent by public officials. These funds were used to continue state workers jobs that were not needed and, in effect, as community development funds.
All state hospitals for the mental ill, except one, should have been closed over 40 years ago when the number of mental ill patients had decreased from a high of 13,000 to less than 1,000.
The failure to serve young people and others who are mentally ill may not be because of a lack of funds as much as poor management of funds that are available.
A citizen’s commission would likely find that additional funding is needed, but the main problem is the failure to make judicious use of funds that are already available. They would find that large amounts of mental health funds have not been used efficiently and effectively.