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A Morrissey moratorium, please; Henrico does have a group home for mentally ill; Low-power radio stations could be in Richmond's future 

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A Morrissey moratorium, please

Joe Morrissey, Joe Morrissey, Joe Morrissey ....

I am so sick and tired of Joe Morrissey I could die (Metro, Feb. 8). I propose that all Richmond publications cease any further articles, news briefs, editorials and the like regarding Joe Morrissey.

I know Morrissey is a Pandora's box of material for a cutting-edge publication such as Style Weekly, and a gold mine for such lackluster papers as The Richmond Times-Disgrace, but shouldn't we at least consider ridding ourselves of the epidemic which has become Joe Morrissey?

But here I have gone and acted against my own cause. Is there no end? Please accept my apologies and consider my proposition.

Craig Love

Henrico does have a group home for mentally ill

I want to correct some information (Back Page, Feb. 8). While it is clearly true that Virginia has not adequately invested in community mental health services, including residential services, it is not correct that the Henrico Area Community Services Board doesn't operate any residential facilities for the mentally ill. In fact, the CSB currently operates one three-bed group home and is in the process of opening another.

The CSB also operates supportive residential services. These include a four-bed supportive residence and the provision of financial and staff support to more than 100 people to enable them to live in independent situations alone or with roommates.

In addition, the CSB provides brief local hospitalization to about 220 people a year through contracts with local hospitals.

This limited array of residential options does not contradict the writer's point that adequate community funding has not followed mental health consumers into the community.

The solution is not to commit people more often and for longer periods of time to state hospitals. The vast majority of persons with mental illness can live happily, productively and safely in the community with proper community-based services and occasional brief hospitalization. The high cost of maintaining so many out-of-date facilities is one barrier to adequately funding community care. The restrictive criteria in Virginia for Medicaid eligibility of the disabled and very restrictive Medicaid service definitions in mental health are other major barriers.

The General Assembly is currently considering several amendments to Gov. Jim Gilmore's budget that would add funds to meet community mental health needs. Given the large amount of discretionary funds that are available Virginia should address these needs. Anyone concerned about the issues raised by the writer should let their legislators know.

Michael D. O'Connor L.C.S.W.
Director of Clinical and Prevention Services
Henrico Area Community Services Board


Low-power radio stations could be in Richmond's future

I am happy to report that the FCC did vote in favor of the Low Power FM (LPFM) service (Cover story, Feb. 8).

That means we are now working on building Radio Free Richmond.

Christopher Maxwell
Secretary/Treasurer Virginia Center for the Public Press
Radio Free Richmond Project
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