Mental note

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Cape Girardeau City Council's rejection last week of a rezoning request for an apartment complex for recovering mental patients reflected the will of neighboring property owners. It also reflected the misunderstandings and misconceptions too many of us have about mental health and its hard-to-erase stigmas.

Executive director John Hudak of the Community Counseling Center, which was seeking the zoning change, said neighbors' attitudes and council vote showed that myths about the mentally ill continue to prevail.

As the counseling center pursues housing for recovering patients, it should consider an education program first. Along the way, all of us could benefit from more information about efforts of the mentally ill to live lives most of us take for granted.

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