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Old Brunswick Hosp.

I am thrilled to hear that there is even a possibility that the County Hosp. facility has a chance to become a Mental Health facility. As a long time (now retired) both clinical and administrative mental health professional, I become more and more disenchanted with the way in which this population has been dismissed and undertreated. We saw a surge of the mentall ill into the community after the Kennedy deinstitutional efforts, but the community could not support the needs. In the 80s (that general era) I saw an active Department of Health and Human Services and the commmunity systems were serving the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and substance abusers faily well and there was a push for community hospital beds. Then, alas, I saw the bottom fall out and unless insured, too many people are going untreated. Area Mental Health community programs merged, no longer offered therapy, and public/private partnerships and contracting became the norm. We just cannot continue to abandon this vulnerable population. Now that our troops are coming home, we will have an even larger responsibility. I will continue to hope for a facility in Brunswick County.

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