During The Monitor’s April 26 candidate forum, Rep. Greg DeVries responded to a question about the 2017 legislature funding cuts for community-based mental health services and possible solutions to address mental illness in our community. He stated that many mental health issues stem from spiritual problems and can be addressed through the church and healthy families and communities. 

This dismissive, irresponsible response by Rep. DeVries shows his ignorance of a very complex, life threatening medical condition that can not be easily cured by someone attending church. 

His response is dangerous and may cost lives if anyone believes his foolish talk that a loved one suffering with a serious mental illness can be cured by prayer and no medical assistance is needed. Rep. Greg DeVries does not represent the residents of Jefferson County and their real problems, he is only interested in promoting his sermons to a broader audience, regardless of how many people’s lives he destroys by cutting critically needed funds for community health centers. 

Our country needs to invest in more research and medical centers to help those suffering from mental illness. We need to develop more effective treatments that address the illness early on, one life destroyed by mental illness is one too many. — Rebecca Johnson, Montana City

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