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Jack Schauer, Fargo, Published February 08 2013

Letter: Strinden wants to go backward By

When I read Earl Strinden’s letter to The Forum (Feb. 1), I could not believe what I was reading. It seems Strinden wants to take mental health care back some 50 years ago (decades of 1950s and 1960s) by making laws more comprehensive in terms of initiating mandatory laws locking up serious mental patients for as long as the law might permit. That could be the rest of their lives, as was the case during those dark decades some 50 or so years ago.

I thought that as a society we had overcome those prejudices and the stigmatization of the mentally ill. Unfortunately, Strinden, in his letter, shows that there are still some out there who would like to further stigmatize the mentally ill as mere scapegoats for public officials to do what they want with.

I have struggled with bipolar illness since the age of 19. Under Strinden’s way of thinking, I might not today be a productive member of society contributing and/or making a difference in terms of the welfare of that same society. Instead, if Strinden had his way, I might have been put away in some forgotten mental ward, kept under lock and key, awaiting my next shot of Haldol.