Monday letters: Don’t forget mentally ill

May 13, 2013 

— Proceeds from the sale of the S.C. State Hospital on Bull Street are required to be used to provide services to people with mental illnesses.

In 2007, then-Attorney General Henry McMaster championed this cause before the S.C. Supreme Court, which held that the proceeds from any sale of property “must remain in trust for the benefit of DMH for the care and treatment of the mentally ill.”

More than half a decade later, people with mental illnesses are still waiting for this promise to be fulfilled.

What’s the holdup? It is not our depressed economy. It’s the perfect storm: the endless agendas of preservationists and environmentalists and the city of Columbia’s longstanding record of dysfunctional decision-making, converging to needlessly delay the sale of the property.

As for the services promised for people with mental illnesses? They appear to be a mere afterthought, if any thought is given at all.

If your concern is anything other than what’s best for people with mental illnesses, get out of the way and abide by the ruling of the court.

The patient is waiting.

David Almeida


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