July 09, 2004

60 Million Dollar Feel-Good Bill

Oregon Republican Gordon Smith took the floor to introduce a youth suicide prevention bill named after his own dead son. "He saw only despair ahead and felt only pain in his present. Pain and despair so potent that he sought suicide as a release. As a release," Smith said, recalling his son Garrett, who killed himself in his college apartment last September, one day before his 22nd birthday. Smith recalled a "beautiful child, a handsome baby boy" that he and his wife Sharon adopted a few days after birth. He had vast intellectual gifts but struggled with learning disabilities, dyslexia, and bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, Smith said.

That's from this article.

A few paragraphs later:

Endorsing Smith's $60 million bill, Nickles said, "I have no doubt as a result of us passing this legislation, we'll end up saving a lot of lives, maybe thousands of lives." The bill would help states develop prevention strategies and fund more mental health services on college campuses.

More than 30,000 Americans kill themselves each year and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people aged 10-24.
Youth has now been extended to 24. If this bill passes, that is.

Brian had something to say about that earlier this week - the American concept of "youth" and the lack of push for adolescents to mature. I think it was in the comments over at Michael Williams' site. While available counseling for the troubled during the busy and stressful time of college is definitely a good idea, why should Joe and Joan American citizen need to pay an additional $60 mil for that. Start a foundation, Senator. Hold charity events. I'm sure your grief is real and this is your cause du jour, but, geez.


Posted by hln at July 9, 2004 12:40 PM | General News | TrackBack

Money is only moral if it passes through the cleansing filter of a loving government :-/

Posted by: Harvey at July 10, 2004 10:58 AM

Oh, but it's for the CHILDREN!!! If we oppose this we will be heartless wretches! *sigh*

As you said, I'm sure his pain is very real, but I don't see how HUGE government spending is going to help. It's never ever helped anywhere else!

Posted by: Teresa at July 10, 2004 06:31 PM

Thanks for the link.

As for politicians, if all you've got is a hammer then every problem will look like a nail.

Posted by: Michael Williams at July 11, 2004 08:00 PM

off-topic: just a general note that I'm feeling all empty inside since you're not posting :-(

Posted by: Harvey at July 14, 2004 09:17 AM