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Mental Health Clinic of Tama County is vital part of community

October 10, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Letter to the Editor:

I am writing to you because there are many people that need our help. The Mental Health Clinic of Tama County is a vital organ in the body of our community. A lack of awareness is poisoning that vital organ . This lack of awareness not only poisons our community at the local level, but the entire globe as a whole.

If you are asking yourself “What can I do to help?”, I have an answer for you. Get involved, educated and become aware. In this day and age we have exceptional resources and tools to raise awareness and educate not only our youth, but adults of all ages. Our public libraries provide us free access to computers and internet. There are all kinds of organizations that have websites to provide us with free information. Unfortunately there are many websites that provide poor or misinformation. So please be careful and view only websites that provide information from credible sources.

The MHCTC is encouraging everyone to recognize that everyone deserves a chance to be healthy, not just in body but in mind as well. The MHCTC is celebrating it’s 35th year serving Tama County and will be inviting the public to join in that celebration this Fall.

How is the “Mental Health Clinic of Tama County” a vital part of our community? I believe the MHCTC plays a roll in supporting our economy. I believe consuming services from MHCTC may not only help one be more stable in their employment but help those with difficulties be more productive. Theoretically, the higher the productivity the more money made, more money spent. Services from MHCTC can reduce or even eliminate hospital admittance lowering healthcare costs, as well as reduce or eliminate unnecessary and unwanted interaction between a struggling person and the law. Giving law enforcement more time to be more productive and costing everyone less money.

What is this poison I call “Lack of Awareness”. People might think “there couldn’t possibly be any service the MHCTC could provide me. I don’t have a mental illness. I have never suffered from trauma. My problems just aren’t that bad.” See people aren’t aware that the MHCTC is not just for the seriously mentally impaired, or those with a diagnosis of a severe mental disorder or illness. It’s not just for those that struggle to survive the stressors life brings. I don’t believe there is a single living person who could not benefit from services. Everyone can maintain or improve the health of their minds through mental health services. Every ones mind gets sick just as every ones body does. It may be rare, occasional, or frequent. It may be minimal, moderate, or severe but no one is 100% immune to getting sick in some way. One may never get a cold but still get the flu. Just as one might not have PTSD, yet gets a little blue, and not knowing how to manage feeling a little down may just ride it out.

Please be open minded and consider all I have shared, take what’s useful to you and leave the rest. I know from experience that when I try something new that poses no danger or life threat I grow in my own healing process, whether that something new or different works or not. If it doesn’t work, I can feel good that I tried and then have the knowledge of what doesn’t work. If it works I can recognize I tried something different and got different results.

If you want to get involved and don’t know where to start, I invite you to the MHCTC 35th anniversary celebration, as well as provide you with a small list of the many great organizations that provide us with free resources and tools.

Christopher Winkelpleck


A concerned citizen of Tama County


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