Re: “WA’s broken mental health system and homelessness crisis are inextricably tied”:

Philip A. Talmadge’s Op-Ed rang a bell with me. I volunteered one quarter at Northern State Hospital in 1969 as part of a psychology course at Skagit College. It was well-maintained, and the woman I visited with had been there most of her life and was in her 60s at that time. I learned that some people need extra help in life.

In the 1970s the hospital was closed and some of the patients could be seen on the streets of Sedro-Woolley in distress and with the police now figuring out what to do with them. Although mental hospitals were portrayed in a negative light at the time because of treatment methods, I am much more distressed and shocked at the numbers of mentally ill fending for themselves in tents on the street.

I agree that the brutality of homelessness is a blight on our country and much more inhumane than a treatment center. We need to fund state-run treatment centers again.

Barb Kotsogean, Seattle