Regarding Paul Schoenfeld’s May 5 column (“Anxiety and depression are flooding our society”) to lower anxiety and depression, I suggest the following:
Blue laws: Get liquor, wine, beer, tobacco, and marijuana back out of sight in the stores, accessible only for people over the appropriate age. At the very least, get them away from the checkout stands and the entry areas in stores. Ban billboards on public right of ways advertising gambling, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. Regulate the maximum size, the lit displays, and the colors of signage for such businesses. Require pornographic magazines be covered by brown paper in stores. Ban sex toy stores and stores renting pornographic movies in areas containing sex offender halfway houses.
Landlords: Require them to extend expired leases on a month-to-month basis when a tenant is current. If a tenant discloses she is pregnant, and is current, make it a criminal offense to require her to move though the lease is expired. The extension should be until the baby is one year old.
Schools: Bring back truant officers such as are used by the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay in cooperation with the local school district. Return home economics and shop to the schools and require all students to pass these classes in order to graduate, including Running Start students. Landlords and mortgage companies rely on people maintaining property, knowing how to budget, and staying healthy so they can work. Private schools and home-schoolers must teach about noblesse oblige.
Employers: Provide an incentive for them to look locally for talent before going out of state. Lack of an ethic to hire local along with the Wall Street traded temporary employee firms have spawned Puget Sound employers’ freewheeling “freedom to fire.” Since stress is a safety issue, co-workers who view other co-workers as toxic and engage in shunning, staring and physical intimidation, must be sent for counseling to company employee assistance programs.
People: Reminders that what one knows may be a result of the class into which one was born, and it is unnecessarily hurtful to deny others that information when they are amenable to learning.
I hope these changes will reduce the skyrocketing depression and anxiety for which there are insufficient psychiatric caregivers to treat in Snohomish County.
Rosemarie Dickson Cook