The United States has 5% of the world population but 25% of its prison population in spite of the fact that the violent crime rate is the lowest it has been in 40 years. Since the mid-1970s the California prison population has grown by 750% driven by sentencing laws based largely on fear, ignorance and vengeance. But in other states, … Read More
Just imagine what it’s like to be entombed day and night in a 7 ½ by 12 foot cement box commonly known as solitary confinement. In spite of the fact that the California prison Hunger Strike has been in effect since July 8th and has been covered by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and NBC to name … Read More
29,000 inmates at California State prisons are on food strike. They are rejecting their meals in protest over solitary confinement conditions, poor food quality, a lack of warm clothing and cut-backs in education and rehabilitation programs. There has been a consistent reduction of programs and classes offered in prison because of funding cuts despite the fact that the facilitators for … Read More
The best way to reduce the stigma of addiction is to recognize it is a disease and treat it as such. One of the reasons parents like myself find our child’s addiction so bewildering is because of the changes in their behavior. From seemingly well-adjusted, happy, fun-loving children they become deceptive, manipulative and dishonest adolescents and young adults. Every parent … Read More
Several of you have asked when my book is coming out. At first, I did not find a publisher interested enough in mental illness and addiction in the family to publish it. It just isn’t sexy. One New York editor, in rejecting the book wrote, “I wondered why [this mother] was telling us this story. The scope of this book … Read More
William Cope Moyers, son of Bill and Judith Moyers, struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs for 15 years and has written an excellent book on recovery entitled “Now What? An Insider’s Guide to Addiction and Recovery” reviewed by Jane E. Brody in The New York Times. When he gave up trying to get clean “his own way” he finally … Read More
“We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care as easy as access to a gun.” President Obama According to a survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 45 million adults nationwide suffered from some mental illness in 2011. About 11 million had a serious illness and of those … Read More
The “deinstitutionalization” of the mentally ill in the 1960s and early 1970s—a movement prompted by the same liberal impulses that gave us civil rights and women’s rights—has become a national disgrace. “Mentally ill street people shame the society that lets them live as they do,” writes Joe Nicera. What prompted Joe Nicera’s article, “Guns and Mental Illness” was a report … Read More
The following news story about mental illness in young adults in the NAMI California November Newsletter caught my attention because my son’s initial mental breakdown was when he was a sophomore in college. Everything seemed to be going fine for him and then, out of the blue he went into a deep depression. He tried to deal with it on … Read More
Time in treatment counts more than what the treatment is.
Obama’s re-election guarantees that mental health care will gain parity with physical health care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA covers behavioral health for those now eligible to seek health insurance through a federal or state Exchange and in Medicaid. In other words, under the provisions of the new law people with low income (individuals at or below 133 … Read More
Mental illness is not going to go away; in fact there is an increase in the number of people suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some 30% or more Americans—that’s almost one in three– are diagnosed with at least one mental illness in their lifetimes.
Each culture has its own customs and language. We identify them by their dress, music, food, and rituals. The homeless mentally ill are no exception. They wear a variety of costumes–multiple coats, ragged jeans, shoes run down at the heel, funny hats. They tote a series of bags or push shopping carts. Some mutter, some yell expletives, some discourse endlessly … Read More