More support needed for mentally impaired

Jan. 26, 60 Minutes broadcast a program about mental illness. It featured a group of parents talking about coping with children with mental illness and the lack of support systems within Connecticut.

Our family can identify with these parents, as we are the custodial grandparents of a grandson with DD/ID (developmental/intellectual delays - formerly known as mental retardation).

We are involved with parent advocacy groups trying to inform people that the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (formerly known as the Department of Mental Retardation) has made huge budget cuts to supported living services. The chances of your loved one finding any type of supported living/group home placement now and in the future is nil. According to DDS, the "waiting list" now stands at more than 3,000 people with DD/ID.

If you are sick or elderly, if you have an accident, or if your loved one is just not ready to be independent, your loved one will not be placed until you die - maybe.

We absolutely agree that people with mental illness and their families need support. There is a hearing in Hartford at the Legislative Office Building at 11 a.m. Friday. People with DD/ID are also disabled and need long-term supports. We need to turn away from the corporate mentality and make our state a better place to live for everyone.

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