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KUDOS: For empathy-driven, practical approach to helping our neighbors

| November 23, 2022 1:00 AM

We don’t dabble in politics, yet recognize jobs well done.

Today’s Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial highlights a reality in our community and what Kootenai Health and a good friend of St. Vinny’s is doing about it, Claudia Miewald, KH’s director of behavioral health services.

The Press writes, “Before anyone dogpiles on the cruel and misguided myth that people with addiction problems aren’t worthy of support because “they did this to themselves,” a healthy dose of compassion and honesty is in order. Who among us doesn’t have a loved one who has endured the hell of some form of addiction? And how many of them are unworthy of love and help?”

“Help” is what the SVDP North Idaho HELP Center does — “Helping Empower Local People,” yet there are biases among us based on an enabling thought. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, three interventions equal an entitlement. Well, this mindset drowns out reasoned deliberations. Three interventions equal an entitlement is simply not true. It could be 80 to 80, and for some, it could last a lifetime. We have more than a decade of experience, plus books have been written by qualified experts debunking these widespread myths — an empathy-driven approach to solving problems, preventing conflict and serving everyone.

So, bravo to The Press for practically stating, “there is also nothing better we can do as human beings than help our neighbors.” And to Kootenai Health for, “covering the moral and practical aspects of that principle with its newly opened detox unit.” As another friend of St. Vinny’s, who happens to hold a leadership position in health care elsewhere once publicly said, “If you’re not going to help, then get the heck outa’ the way.” And if memory serves correctly, they may have used a different word that begins with an “h.”

LARRY RILEY

Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho

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