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Final Word: Ask the questions, get the answers when it comes to mental health

Can you imagine getting a phone call that your son has shot and killed several people while away at college?

Peter Roger can.

His son Elliott killed six and injured 13 at UC Santa Barbara last month. He said he knew Elliott struggled with mental issues and he’d spent much of his son’s adolescence and college years getting him treatment. But Elliott was good at hiding his issues.

Peter Roger has started a website to help parents find resources for mental health help and can share their stories.

He acknowledged a lot of families feel there is a stigma to seeking help, and others fear not being able to find help or being able to pay for it.

Here in Maricopa County, the majority of mental health care for people who are uninsured or under insured is provided by the County. Officially, the provider is the Maricopa Integrated Health System.

They see more than 3,600 psychiatric patients every year and have nearly 200 beds for such patients.

The help is there. Use it.

If you or a family member needs help, call. The nonemergency number is 800-564-5465. For more urgent cases, call 800-631-1314.

Don’t be the parent who says they saw the signs, but didn’t know what to do about them.