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  • Writer's pictureTheeda

Mental Illness Takes Another Life

RIP to Officer Eric Mumaw. I've worked with a few officers who really cared and wanted to make a positive difference. I am grateful to the officers who escorted me when I was out in the community responding to people who were in distress because they were having a psychotic break or were seriously contemplating suicide.

I want to point out that it's not necessary to demonize anyone in order to recognize Officer Mumaw's heroism. I say this because I have seen and heard people demonize the young lady because of her criminal record. That troubles me.

It's not unusual for people who have struggled for years with mental illness to have criminal records. Because she is poor and does not have insurance, it's difficult to have consistent access to treatment and almost impossible to get quality treatment. Unfortunately, these people end up on the wrong side of the law too many times.

My heart goes out to Officer Mumaw's family but I also feel sad for the young lady and her family. She's in jail and will probably be there for a long time. The sad fact is that, although she is in custody, there is still no guarantee that she will receive the treatment that she needs.

I've seen a lot said and written about Officer Mumaw the past few days and he deserves every accolade. But there's another story here that's not being told. If we really want to keep this from happening again then we have to do better in caring for those who are so much in need.

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