Faced with chance to help kids with mental illness, Golden Valley punts

If you want to see why mental health care is still a taboo subject in much of America, look no further than Golden Valley which this week was scared off by the notion that children in any community have mental health needs.

Faced with opposition from parents, apparently of healthy children, the City Council voted to deny an application for a day treatment facility on Pennsylvania Avenue to provide programs for children from 5 to 18.

Most parents who spoke said they want mental health care for children, they just don’t want it near them.

“It’s not a time to be PC. It’s a time to be concerned about the safety of our children, grandchildren, and everyone else,” said Gail Mann, as reported by Northwest Community Television’s 12TV News.

“Our extreme disappointment is not about a building, but more so of the offensive and inflammatory language used to describe our clients, children, which points to our community’s lack of understanding of children with mental illness,” CEO Traci Hackman told the TV station.

The comments by parents in Golden Valley mirror those of Woodbury residents several years ago, when a company proposed a location to provide services to people with Alzheimer’s disease.