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Genesis Behavioral Health served 167 Gilford residents in FY 2014

To The Daily Sun,

On Tuesday, March 10, the voters of Gilford will go to the polls to decide how their tax dollars will be appropriated. As a former Gilford resident and member of the Genesis Behavioral Health Board of Directors, I ask my fellow community members to vote "Yes" on Article 22 to support emergency mental health care for all Gilford citizens.

Genesis Behavioral Health (GBH) is the community mental health center serving Belknap and southern Grafton Counties. A private, non-profit organization founded in 1966 by Dr. George "Pete" Harris, a Gilford pediatrician who recognized the critical need for mental health services in the community, GBH provided behavioral health care to 3,642 Lakes Region children, families, and adults in Fiscal Year 2014.

GBH served 167 Gilford residents in Fiscal Year 2014 and provided $23,453 of uncompensated care — care the organization provided but for which they will not receive reimbursement. Forty-six Gilford residents used emergency services in FY14.

This critical, safety net organization asks all 24 towns in its catchment area to contribute to the Emergency Services (ES) program, using a formula based upon the town's population to ensure fairness. ES provides any resident of Gilford experiencing a mental health emergency with access to a Master's Degree-level clinician and psychiatrist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, regardless of their ability to pay. Services are provided through a 24-hour hotline, in person or via telemedicine to ensure rapid access to care.

We know from the headlines that the mental health crisis in New Hampshire is real. The National Institute on Mental Health reports that one in four adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

Without proper treatment, mental illness affects one's ability to work, participate in school, contribute to the community and maintain relationships. The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States, causing unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives. Reduced access to mental health care leads to increased demand on many of the systems in our community, including emergency rooms, law enforcement, first responders, courts, corrections, schools and municipalities.

GBH not only helps those in need, but its services also reduce costs for our town and improve the health and safety of our community.

ES is often the gateway into services for people in need of mental health treatment. Access to behavioral health care was identified as a top priority in the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health's 2013 Community Needs Assessment. Mental health related emergency department visits/observation stays in the Lakes Region are significantly higher than the overall New Hampshire rate (1,541.5 per 100,000 vs. 1,409.9). The need for crisis intervention in our community is evident.

Thank you for supporting GBH for the past five years. Any one of us, at any time, could be in a position to need their services. I am confident that the people of Gilford will, once again, choose wisely and continue to appropriate funds to this worthwhile organization.

Dr. Kelley J. White

Laconia

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Obama seems very transparent to me; you just don't like what you see

To The Daily Sun,

It might be time to open that closed mind, Mr. (Patrick) Wetmore. You remind me an old football coach from the 1950s in your analysis of our president. His team was up against one of the best in the nation that Saturday so he had his game planned out. His team was to receive the kickoff and the plan was to run three plays and punt. So, they ran the three plays but were stopped at the opponents' 1-yard line. Only one yard for a touchdown but the game play was to punt on fourth down so he punted.

Obama seems very transparent to me, even though you don't like what you are seeing. In case you might not realize it, situations change daily in life so we have to change with them. You also might not have noticed that our Obama has had little, if not any help from day one from your GOP. Not okay to have the N.Y. Times as backers, but it is okay to have the Koch Brothers and big oil along with thousands of big-moneyed backers? Both side have this cash and the cash is flowing like BP in the Gulf. But Holder sending journalists to jail? To quote Holder from Oct. ­14, 20­14: "I will not send a journalist to jail for doing their job," a reference to James Risen of the Times.

Damage done to our country you say. Does that include shutting the government down and while threatening to do it again, 50­-60 votes to repeal the ACA, voter suppression, the Keystone Pipeline fiasco, GOP filibustering their own bills, and more and more again? It's okay because it's our tax dollars that pay for all this.

The GOP is just cashing in on another free lunch. But the GOP will always have Reagan for guidance more tax increases and Iran Contra with those nasty rebels in Central America. As far as Reagan goes,­ he tried but got caught.

However we had the team of Bush/Cheney to save us. They never did anything wrong, illegal or get prosecuted for their crimes ­ at least not yet.

Jon Hoyt
Plymouth

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