2020

Unlike most people, 2020 was a good year for our family in many ways. My long-in-the-making book, “Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son,” was released. Son Jim stayed sober the entire year for the first time in a long while. He yearned to go to work more than he Read more about 2020[…]

Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

People are often surprised when someone attempts or dies by suicide. Our family was shocked the first time our son Jim overdosed, trying to obey voices in his head. Jim has schizo-affective disorder. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 5 percent of people with schizophrenia commit suicide, five times the rate of the Read more about Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month[…]

Separating police, mental health response isn’t easy

Published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on June 9, 2020 When I read in the Star Tribune (June 8) that some city council members are calling for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department, suggesting instead sending mental health professionals to respond to certain emergencies, I thought of my son’s first mental health crisis. His psychologist had Read more about Separating police, mental health response isn’t easy[…]

Quarantine

Many people are seeking mental health support during the sheltering-in-place COVID-19 siege. Social media is fraught with posts about the anxiety and depression it can cause, and the National Institute of Mental Health is researching how stressors related to the virus affect mental health. Our son Jim, who has a mental illness, is staying with Read more about Quarantine[…]

Housing First

            A recent hearing of the Minnesota House of Representatives Housing Committee probed the intersection of mental illness and housing. I expected to hear stories of despair and facts about dire shortages. I wasn’t disappointed, but people who told their stories about how their lives were turned around when they finally found a safe place Read more about Housing First[…]

Should We Expect People With Serious Mental Illness to Work?

I struggle with my expectations for our son who has a serious mental illness. When he’s doing well he seems full of potential, but that is not always the case. Many mental health professionals seem to have the same dilemma. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey In the seventh edition of his book Surviving Schizophrenia, Dr. E. Read more about Should We Expect People With Serious Mental Illness to Work?[…]