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Mental illness result of over-reliance on tourism

Mental illness is a sad reality. In the case of Kumulipo Sylva, I wonder if justice was blinded? It was testified by a state psychologist that Sylva was delusional and suffering from an acute state of mental illness at the time (The Maui News, Oct. 22).

My heart goes out to both families for what they are going through in light of such a horrific tragedy. But, is locking up those who suffer from mental illness really solving the broader problem? A society is judged on how it treats its people! There is a dire need to funnel more funds to help those with mental illness; the alternative is more of what happened in the Sylva tragedy.

Perhaps less catering and investing into a tourism industry that is suffocating the very Hawaiian culture that people come to experience, and instead invest in the well-being of people of Hawaii nei. What once drew people to Hawaii is methodically getting erased, replaced by gated communities, second and third homes, big-box stores and astronomical rents, etc.

The nicest roads and sidewalks border the hotels and newer high-end developments! There is all indication that there will be a steady increase in the homeless and mentally ill.

Is there a plan to suck some of the funds out of rampant development and give more care to those who are disabled by no choice of their own?

Elinor Meadows

Kula