Letters to the Editor

Mental disease

Miami is diminished by the sudden and unexpected exodus of a terrific trial lawyer, Ervin Gonzalez. His untimely death may be confusing for many people: How does this happen to such an accomplished, intelligent, and successful person?

Those of us who have been touched by mental illness know that reason cannot always explain why such tragedies occur. People who have experienced a mental disease know that affliction can overcome the strongest, brightest and most successful of us. Family, friends, and co-workers are often hurt and left with a sense of hopelessness when mental disease breaks through and disrupts their lives. Although there are some remarkable treatments available, generally, there is no cure.

This time there was a sad ending. We lost a strong advocate for truth and justice.

Education, understanding, and compassionate treatment are our best weapons against this scourge. A disease is a disease no matter its type or manifestation. Our community should listen to Judge Steven Leifman and his Stepping Up Initiative. Federal, state, and local governments and philanthropists should provide the funding to meet mental disease head-on. There is hope, and new treatments are being developed.

Thomas P. Murphy, Miami

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