NORWICH – Of all the facts and details presented to lawmakers this month about treating the mentally ill and alcohol and drug addicts in Chenango County last year, only one deserved top billing, according to Town of Pharsalia Supervisor Dennis Brown.
“Did you get that ... the most important statement she said?” he noted, referring to a part of Mental Hygiene Services Director Ruth Roberts’ annual report to the board.
“She said the only way to combat the growing numbers requiring treatment is to work on growing a solid economy.”
Brown later said he found the county’s new department director’s statement “refreshing.”
“I’ve never heard anybody who’s in the social services sector actually recognize publicly that a strong economic base is a key ingredient to the social health of a community,” he explained.
In her report, one in which she pointed out that 52 percent of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services clients seen in 2010 also had mental health disorders, Roberts said unemployment is “really catching up with individuals and families.”