When it comes to the mental health system, our veterans, especially those of World War II, have died in vain.

America failed to learn the basic principles of healthy and unhealthy factors that define and influence the mental health of all human beings equally. Mental health experts failed to understand the unique details of each individual’s life experiences. Some people are tolerant of diversity, while others are biased, prejudiced and intolerant, which can lead to hateful, abusive treatment of others.

Those suffering from mental health issues can be treated much like prisoners of war in a concentration camp or prison. Individual life experiences are not respected, nor are they the focus in determining courses of treatment. Institutionalization of the mentally ill results in a one-size-fits-all treatment plan that doesn’t take into account a person’s life experiences.

There needs to be more equality in treatment plans for those with severe mental illness, where they can get more personalized treatment, much like those who seek private professional care outside an institution, with a balanced approach to all mental health disciplines that recognize an individual’s experiences — a combination of psychology, sociology, physiology, etc.

Recipients of services should have freedom of choice and speech. Justice needs to be fully realized so that people with mental illness are no longer suppressed.

Pauline M. Bailey, Auburn

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