This letter reflects on articles in the Portland Press Herald lately regarding concerns throughout Maine that have become more of a national issue.

Any avid reader is aware of these topics, including but not limited to:

 Legalizing marijuana for recreational use despite federal laws prohibiting it.

The need for treatment of addiction to drugs, not excluding marijuana (known as a gateway drug).

Gun violence and the right to “open carry.”

Crime rates relating to gun use and drug use (not excluding marijuana, as police understand).

Sleep and school start times for teens.

The University of Southern Maine’s alleged financial crises.

It all comes down to mental health, which never discards: a) the family, b) EDUCATION, or c) agencies providing care.

Three topics that come to mind for this mental health provider are: the No Child Left Behind Act; the state’s lack of educational cohesion, including the University of Maine System campuses; and unemployment and/or underemployment ratios, which play a role in graduates’ inability to pay back their education loans.

The lack of proper guidance and support for students, in all walks of life and at every level of education, is a disservice and neglects our amended right to education. The correlation between the lack of education and the use of substances and/or other criminal behaviors is understood.

Also, individuals getting by, and/or walking out of their education, are much more likely to be undiagnosed, untreated and/or unsuccessful in any treatment modality if and when necessary later in life.

Greg R. Stacy, M.Ed.

Denmark