OUR VIEWS: You're not alone

Sep 25, 2012


The bad news is that tough economic times continue to take a toll on area residents. The good news is that more and more of them are reaching out for help.

The office provides counseling for anyone who works, lives and worships in the Tri-Cities. Area residents are seeking help for depression, anxiety and grief.

Executive Director Sarah Lewakowski said the Tri-Cities Ministries Counseling office has gone from seeing 5-10 people each month a few years ago to between 50 and 100 a month today.

In 2011, the counseling center served nearly 740 men, women and children. About 51 percent didn’t have insurance covering counseling fees.

The agency provided more than $500,000 in mental health service on an $185,000 budget.

Most people are quick to seek help when they have a physical ailment. However, in years past, mental health illness was looked upon as a sign of weakness. Family and friends would tell the victim to just “pick yourself up by your boot straps and get on with it!”

Many thought that mental illness could be turned on or off by the patient.

We have since learned that isn’t the case.

Mental illness is serious and often more serious than other health issues and can lead to physical illness as well. Physical maladies often are easier to diagnose and treat than mental ailments.

Those suffering from stress, depression and other mental illnesses often are good at masking them, leaving family and friends and even doctors not really knowing that something is wrong.

Lewakowski said she reminds patients that they are not alone and they don’t have to feel that way. There is help.

We should all be thankful for agencies like Tri-Cities Ministries Counseling. And we should direct family members and friends in need of help to them.

And, if we are able, support the agencies financially.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


Tri-cities realist

And where does Tri-Cities Ministries get its funding? Hmm... Seems like a pretty efficient way of providing services to our community. And yes I know where they get their funding...


Our society will face the truth soon. The denial phase will be over hopefully soon. I have looked at this unemployment problem over and over again mathematically and logically. 1 industrial robot replaces about 7 workers. From 1940 to 2012 just look at our quantum leaps in industrial and medical breakthroughs. 1 robot replaces 3 people working three 8 hours shifts M-F. from Sat to Sun that 48 hours round the clock. That is another 4 workers. One CNC milling machine or lathe replaces 2 workers per machine. When my dad was a die maker he took pride in his work, etched his name into his tooling he built and you could see the craftsmanship. Now I used to be a diemaker until 2008 and craftsmanship is gone, gone, gone. I built 4 progressive dies at once and set up, operated and kept running 3 CNC machining centers. I with the help of machines replaced 4 skilled tradesman in 2008. 2012 I left the trade because all the Tool & Die shops are gone and put away my skilled trades tools for good and now push papers for the prison system. 19% actual unemployment right now in 2012. Millions cannot find a job because they simply don't exist. So why do politicians keep saying "go get a job! welfare bums!! Trailer trash !!" ? Our technological advancements are pushing middle class into some realm of socialism. We cannot stop it. Its impossible. So what do you do with all those people who have medical, housing, clothing, food and educational needs?? Eliminate them? What? Telling them to "get a hair cut and get a real job!" is illogical, its stupid. Industrial innovations are redistributing wealth and making us all slaves to the 1% who own the machines. Its will destroy itself one day- soon. Then what??


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