Letter: Crisis hotline ready to help Tri-City families struggling with mental illness

January 18, 2013 

For more than 35 years, there has been a crisis hotline in the Tri-City area: currently 783-0500. If that can't be remembered, call 911. Members of the communities who are mental health challenged may obtain assistance from the crisis hotline.

Better yet, the crisis hotline is available to families, neighbors, strangers and law enforcement members seeking assistance for those in need. Many people stop taking medication and others are in distress. Call the crisis hotline urgent assistance to avoid violence or injury.

A story in the Jan. 2 Tri-City Herald told of a man who started some fires after he had stopped taking medication for schizophrenia; his lady friend called the police for help. It seems the Herald has not published the crisis hotline since the 20-plus deaths in Connecticut. It's time for folks to make note of the hotline number and call immediately for assistance for the mental-health challenged.

We have a working network with Lourdes Mental Health clinic, where treatment is undertaken, and some patients are involuntarily committed to the state hospital, with support from the prosecuting attorneys of Benton and Franklin counties. There is no excuse to be ignorant of this crisis hotline.

JIM RABIDEAU, Pasco

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