Your Views for February 4

Kolekole a ‘wasteland’

My wife and I have visited Hawaii from Canada 11 times, always staying on the east side of the Big Island, which we love.

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Three years ago, we discovered the delightful Kolekole Beach Park. Kids were swinging on a rope into a pool of the river, parents were barbecuing under the provided shelter, while others were just watching the huge waves spend themselves on the driftwood at the shore. I think someone was fishing.

Even the Highway 19 bridge far overhead added an eye-catching dimension, or perhaps a contrast, to the pleasant scene.

Saturday we visited Kolekole again. It was a deserted, overgrown, melancholy wasteland, all because — as I learned from Sunday’s Tribune-Herald — lead-based paint from the bridge has contaminated it.

I don’t question the need to close the park temporarily for safety reasons. I do question how this happened in the first place, and above all why the problem was not promptly cleaned up, as apparently it could have been.

I urge the County Council’s Committee of Parks and Recreation to do what they can to restore this little piece of paradise.

Terry Pratt

Prince Edward Island, Canada

It’s OK to seek help

Struggling with your own mind is already difficult. Seeking help can be shameful, and some people ignore it because it is just the easier thing to do. I have had loved ones in my life who suffer from mental health issues. I am Mitra Toomey, a concerned Hilo High School student, and I can very deeply about understanding and shining a light on mental disorders, depression and emotional instability.

When going to a doctor with a broken arm, there is nothing holding you back from telling the doctor what is wrong, because why wouldn’t you tell your doctor that your arm is broken? It is different when you are stepping into the doctor’s office with depression or anxiety. You may feel like you are wasting the doctor’s time, or you could easily lie and say everything is fine.

Even worse, you could ignore your problems, thinking that they don’t matter, or that they shouldn’t matter. Things that you can’t see can easily be ignored.

In the study, “Doctors Don’t Take Mental as Seriously as Physical Health,” the author, Lindsay Holmes, postulates about how doctors care more about physical health. Patients with mental issues and disorders are being pushed aside because doctors believe that physical health is more important. Someone I love has both mental issues and physical problems, and if her doctors would focus a little more on both sides of her condition, I believe she would get better.

Everyone has something they struggle with, and if doctors would focus and ask questions about both issues during annual checkups, it would bring the matter at hand to the eye of the doctor and the people that can actually help. Also, it shows people that they do not have to be ashamed of what is going on in their lives.

Struggling with something that you can’t see is easy to ignore, but that doesn’t mean that you should. If you have a loved one who hid their depression or anxiety because they were ashamed, wouldn’t you want them to seek help?

We are all human beings. We all have feelings. Don’t be afraid of being yourself and sharing what is wrong, because there is someone who will care.

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Mitra Toomey

Hilo

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