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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 8, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMAKE MENTAL HEALTH A PRIORITY URGES WRITER

MAKE MENTAL HEALTH A PRIORITY URGES WRITER

Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated is the protection and advocacy organization for people with disabilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It is a private nonprofit organization, whose mission is to advance their legal, civil and human rights and promote their access to services and opportunities within the community. The work of Virgin Islands Advocacy, Inc. is guided by a belief in the inherent worth of all individuals and their right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Our organization devotes a considerable amount of its legal work on systemic issues in addition to individual cases in a number of areas such as, education, transportation, employment, enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, rehabilitation, housing and health.
One compelling issue that must be brought to our collective attention is the woefully inadequate mental health service system. People with psychiatric disabilities are in desperate need of service and support.
Did you know that mental illnesses rank first among illnesses that cause disability in the United States, Canada and Western Europe?
Mental Illness can occur at any stage of life, from childhood to old age. No community is unaffected; no school, home or workplace is untouched. At the present time, our mental health care system is in a state of crisis. For example, there are:
· Severe shortages of qualified staff, which limits the number of people who can be served,
· Children with serious emotional disturbance who are grossly under-served,
· No established program to encourage self-help and independent living skills,
· No readily available ongoing training programs for mental health services personnel,
· No crisis intervention services.
Presently, the problems are many and the solutions are extremely few. Our electorate, policy makers, workers and citizens must reexamine the failures of our mental health care system and undertake to make quality mental health services a high priority. It is not my intention to place blame on any individual or entity, for that serves no useful purpose. It is my intention to encourage you and each and every one of us to act.
Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated continues to work closely with the Virgin Islands Alliance for Mental Health Consumers/Survivors, the Virgin Islands Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Ten Thousand Helpers of St. Croix. Please contact our organization for more information on how you can become involved in improving the quality of life for people with psychiatric disabilities and their families. For they have a right to support, care and recovery with dignity and respect.
For more information on Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated and how you can become a community advocate please give us a call at 772-1200 or 776-4303.

Amelia Headley LaMont, Esq. is the Executive Director of Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated.

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e_mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.

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Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated is the protection and advocacy organization for people with disabilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It is a private nonprofit organization, whose mission is to advance their legal, civil and human rights and promote their access to services and opportunities within the community. The work of Virgin Islands Advocacy, Inc. is guided by a belief in the inherent worth of all individuals and their right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Our organization devotes a considerable amount of its legal work on systemic issues in addition to individual cases in a number of areas such as, education, transportation, employment, enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, rehabilitation, housing and health.
One compelling issue that must be brought to our collective attention is the woefully inadequate mental health service system. People with psychiatric disabilities are in desperate need of service and support.
Did you know that mental illnesses rank first among illnesses that cause disability in the United States, Canada and Western Europe?
Mental Illness can occur at any stage of life, from childhood to old age. No community is unaffected; no school, home or workplace is untouched. At the present time, our mental health care system is in a state of crisis. For example, there are:
· Severe shortages of qualified staff, which limits the number of people who can be served,
· Children with serious emotional disturbance who are grossly under-served,
· No established program to encourage self-help and independent living skills,
· No readily available ongoing training programs for mental health services personnel,
· No crisis intervention services.
Presently, the problems are many and the solutions are extremely few. Our electorate, policy makers, workers and citizens must reexamine the failures of our mental health care system and undertake to make quality mental health services a high priority. It is not my intention to place blame on any individual or entity, for that serves no useful purpose. It is my intention to encourage you and each and every one of us to act.
Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated continues to work closely with the Virgin Islands Alliance for Mental Health Consumers/Survivors, the Virgin Islands Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Ten Thousand Helpers of St. Croix. Please contact our organization for more information on how you can become involved in improving the quality of life for people with psychiatric disabilities and their families. For they have a right to support, care and recovery with dignity and respect.
For more information on Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated and how you can become a community advocate please give us a call at 772-1200 or 776-4303.

Amelia Headley LaMont, Esq. is the Executive Director of Virgin Islands Advocacy Incorporated.

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e_mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice... click here.