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“The Sick and the Dead” (7/11) was very well-written, and I commend your willingness to openly share it with the public.

I am a mother of three, two of whom are now young adults, the third 17, all diagnosed with a mental illness. All of what the author spoke about reflects my family. My 17-year-old has been in and out of home placement for approximately three years now. My daughter’s mental-health diagnoses are ADHD, depression, and bipolar disorder, along with some anxiety issues. My biggest fear has always been that my daughter would not receive the mental-health treatment that she deserved. I state that because I was unable to get such treatment for my daughter until after she attempted suicide twice within a three-month period. And even after the two suicide attempts, we as a family were dragged through the dirt by social services, as they attempted to prove that I was neglectful, and abusive to my mentally challenged daughter. They lost, I was proved to be neither, and the record reflects that my daughter was a child in need of services. But having proved my innocence, I was still forced to relinquish custody of my daughter to the Department of Social Services in order for her to receive mental-health treatment.

One of my fears is about when my daughter is released back into society after her 18th birthday: Just what community services will be available to accommodate her when she feels that she can no longer go on in her life? Then we will have on the street just what the author was trying to warn this country about. Our young mentally ill grow up to be out-of-control adults sometimes.

Alexandria, Va.