It is past time that we talked about the problems associated with mental health care [“A long wait for mental health care,” Metro, Jan. 23]. The Dubin family, featured in the article, is not alone in its experience and heartache.

I have sat in the emergency room with a shattered loved one, and it can be frightening. Couple the scenario described in the article with the following: no insurance, no credit card, no means to pay. Or add this bit of feedback: “You have already used up your 10 visits and hospitalization limit as offered by your health insurance plan for this calendar year.”

Mental health problems, as well as other health problems, often don’t fit into a calendar neatly. Cutting services may remove the cost from someone’s books, but it doesn’t remove the problem and the suffering, nor the ultimate cost to us all.

Pat Martin, Alexandria