Re: May 4 article, “At Austin Clubhouse, all mental health labels are left at the door.”
Kudos to Statesman reporter Michael Barnes for the great article on the Austin Clubhouse. What a wonderful community and resource. And a big thank you to the Clubhouse members who were willing to share their stories.
Mental illness must be destigmatized and treated as the medical condition it is. There should be no more shame associated with depression, bi-polar or schizophrenia than with diabetes, cancer or heart disease. The only way that will happen is if those struggling with the disease are willing to talk about it — and those lucky enough not to be are willing to listen and learn.
PAT GRIGADEAN, AUSTIN
As a parent of a junior at the University of Texas, we have had two murders on campus and I was not alerted. My son had to call and tell me about what was happening. I have another son that attended the University of Houston and they alerted me whenever anything dangerous was going on.
I have contacted UT by phone and email. Still no answer to why I have to hear it on the news or go look at the UT website. I am very frustrated with this. I am sure there are lots of parents that feel like I do. We deserve to be notified when the students are. What if my student was too hurt to let me know. Though I live too far to do anything for my student, alerts would help tremendously. I hope you will print this, so UT will consider the tuition paying parents in this dilemma.
BARBARA WILLIAMS, SUGAR LAND
Re: April 28 commentary, “Trump’s budget should fund global operations beyond defense.”
After reading Ben Parry’s op-ed, I couldn’t help connecting Parry’s support for foreign aid to Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his son’s heart defect. Kimmel’s focus was domestic health care when he said: “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
I would extrapolate by saying not anywhere. President Trump’s proposed budget cuts U.S. foreign assistance by a third. As Parry argues, some of us are motivated to invest overseas to keep America safe. And yet, some of us are motivated to share a tiny fraction of our wealth because of Kimmel’s logic: In this era, why should my kid have a better life than most other kids in the world? Either way, Trump can recommend his budget — but Congress should preserve this 1 percent of our budget. Hold the line on this strategic spending that benefits us all.
CATHY WHITE, CEDAR PARK
The American Medical Association, AARP, American Lung Association, American Diabetes Association, Cancer Action Network, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, National Organization for Rare Disorders, National Coalition for Women’s Heart Disease, and National MS Society oppose the American Health Care Act.
The Epilepsy Foundation stands for continuing to provide essential health benefits. I follow that one in particular because of my granddaughter. Why have U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. John R. Carter not responded to my communications about her?
These organizations represent real people whose lives, families and futures would be impacted if you relinquish pre-existing conditions to the insurance companies and states to decide.
I urge Congress to vote no on repeal and replace. Spend the time and money instead devising solutions to the Affordable Care Act issues.
ROBIN BERRY, AUSTIN