Letter to the editor: Change our laws in Alabama so people with mental illness can get adequate mental health care


We must change our laws in Alabama so that people with mental illness can get adequate mental health (care). Today, what we have in place is not working for the people who need it the most.

These issues need immediate attention:

  1. The lack of beds in the state of Alabama for mentally ill patients.
  2. The second issue is that if the individual tests positive for drugs, they are released from the hospital with no help. Almost everyone in our society knows that people with mental illness self-medicate due to the lack of their ability to pay for the medication that they cannot afford, and they self-medicate with illegal drugs.
  3. The third issue is that many people who have mental illness help cannot be probated by family or friends due to having an active felony case in the court system. Many of these individuals have felony charges due to their mental illness.
  4. The fourth issue is that the people who oversee the probate commitments have more training in the law on this topic and in mental health in general.

I ask our Cullman County state delegation, Senator Garlan Gudger, and Representatives Corey Harbison, Randall Shedd, Scott Stadthagen and Tim Wadsworth, to address this issue in the State of Alabama (Legislature). U.S. Senators Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt, along with U.S. Representative (Robert Aderholt), take these issues up in Congress for support of the mentally ill and give the people who have no voice in our society (the message) that we care about them.

The promise was that when all the mental hospitals were closed, the community would take care of the mentally ill. We in the community care (but) cannot help these individuals without funding. Others in our community care, and I need help for these individuals we love to live the best life possible.

I care,

Edward L. Potter, Ph.D.

Mental Health Advocacy of Alabama Board Member

Email: dredwardpotter2@gmail.com

256- 339-5793