Thank you for Ms. Brittney Parker’s excellent article “Mental health services costly in Macon County” which appeared in the Oct. 17 issue of your newspaper. Ms. Parker did a great job explaining the problems associated with the 375 percent increase cost of mental health commitments to the Sheriff’s Department. It is true much of the reason for this increase in cost is the decrease in the number of psychiatric hospital beds in the state. However, the main reason for this increase is, at the same time the state reduced the number of psychiatric beds, they also all but eliminated the funding for local outpatient treatment that made hospitalizations unnecessary. The end result of the legislature’s action has been an increase in the most expensive form of treatment for this population – hospitalization.