The letter "My Full Life" (April 18) by James Kindler was honest, meaningful and remarkable.
After nearly 20 years as an employee of Mercy Behavioral Health, I have seen dramatic and positive changes in terms of the outlooks for people with mental illness and addiction. Unfortunately, many people take their cues from Hollywood. The images from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Snake Pit" and other extreme portrayals of mental illness come to mind.
Hollywood would not sell many tickets if mental illness were portrayed in a realistic and truthful manner: people working to get back to their lives, living in their own apartments or homes, working, enjoying their friends and families, and giving back to their communities. It's not too different from recovering from cancer or living with diabetes, Parkinson's disease or any other illness that challenges people every day.
Mr. Kindler provided an excellent example of people living with mental illness today. They are regular folks, overcoming struggles and living their lives. His words should be a lesson to those who are stuck in a mid-20th-century mind-set and have not kept up with advances in treatment, medication, recovery and hope.
The writer is director of communications for Mercy Behavioral Health.