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Help is available for families struggling to care for a mentally ill loved one

Your editorial urging families and friends of people suffering from mental illness to help them get treatment before a tragedy occurs was spot on, but it's something that often is easier said than done ("Unquiet minds," Dec. 27).

Fortunately, there is help available to families who are struggling to access care for loved ones who are exhibiting signs of mental illness.

Both Baltimore City and Baltimore County have 24/7 crisis hotlines, which can be reached by calling 410-433-5175 and 410-931-2214, respectively.

In addition, families can get support and information about mental illness and how to access care from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and from the Maryland Coalition of Families, which helps families with children in need of care.

Families need not be isolated and fearful when faced with the mental illness of a loved one.

Jane Plapinger

The writer is president and CEO of Baltimore Mental Health Systems Inc.

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