My son was released from Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia on May 1, 2017, and is living in a group home in Charlottesville. Andrew is doing very well and has a great attitude about his situation. He received help and treatment for three years because he was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) for stabbing his brother during a psychotic episode and he became a ward of the state. I wish everyone could receive the kind of treatment and help that Andrew received. In the long run, it would make a huge difference.
During Andrew's time in the hospital, he turned to what he knew best — music. He wrote and recorded over 70 songs. Many of his songs told of his experiences with serious metal illness, what he felt, and what and who he saw around him. His songs spoke about loneliness, despair, and hope.
Some write books about their experience. Andrew and I decided to cut a record album consisting of 11 selected songs from his first year as a patient at Western State. During that time, he was allowed to have a guitar in his room and a cheap battery powered recorder.
Andrew's hope is that his speaking out will encourage others and let them know they're not alone. The album is now becoming a reality and we hope many of you might obtain a copy and participate in the process.
Andrew's album is called “Code Purple – Andrew Neil” and the release date is tentatively scheduled for October 10, 2017, (the 25th anniversary of World Mental Health Day). “Code Purple” is a term used by Western State when there's a problem on a ward that requires security. The album is being produced by Tree Heart Records LLC.
If you buy the "Code Purple" CD and/or the 180g Vinyl record, your support will help Andrew fund his project, begin his journey to live independently, and further pursue his songwriter dreams. When you click on the PledgeMusic link below, you'll see a video of Andrew talking about his album and why he decided to make it.
Thanks for watching.