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Letter: Demand for mental health housing far exceeds resources available

Regarding the story, "A Place to Call Home," by Kevin Rector, in the Oct. 26 edition of the Towson Times, I'd like to thank the Times and Mr. Rector for shining a light on the critical issue of housing and treatment options for the ever-growing number of community members with mental illnesses.

Demand for services far exceeds the thinly-stretched resources available to agencies such as Prologue and Mosaic, which are two of the largest community-based behavioral health service providers in the area.

Approximately one in four adults and one in five children suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. In 2008 and 2009, about 10.4 million American adults over age 18 experienced a serious mental illness, representing about 4.6 percent of all adults in the United States.

Serious Mental illness prevalence rates varied across the states. A 2007 report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors cited untreated mental health and substance abuse problems as the most common reason for homelessness.

The faces of the mentally ill are our children, family, friends and neighbors. Let us focus on creating positive recovery stories such as that of Joachim Mattox, who was depicted in the Times' story.

Collectively, we must join forces to ensure that sustained resources are available to provide the elements of recovery that all mentally ill individuals in our communities so rightfully deserve.

Jeff Richardson, executive director, Mosaic Community Services

Timonium

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