STORIES FROM ACROSS THE USA - A COMPOSITE

Comments in response to Teresa Pasquini’s “Shattering Silence” campaign (https://www.change.org/p/mary-gilberti-and-nami-board-of-directors-join-families-advocates-of-the-4-in-shattering-silence-about-serious-mental-illness). 2017

“My son is in need of mental health treatment, he thinks he is not ill! I will need help getting him off the streets. He is homeless!” FLORIDA

“People with SMI are often incapable of accepting and continuing treatment to make their lives manageable, calm, and stable - for the inflicted as well as their caregivers and the community at large. We need to do everything in our power to assist families help their loved ones by removing barriers to treatment in the name of privacy and rights before the next inevitable, preventable tragedy occurs.” CALIFORNIA

“I love someone with schizophrenia. He was mandated to Assisted Out Patient Treatment (AOT) in 2009 because he attempted to kill himself and was forced to inpatient four times in the year. He was DX in January. With AOT he went into a half way house for nine months. He became stable and started to live his life. He graduated with honors with a BA in management, works, drives, has an awesome sense of humor, and is starting a peer mentoring program. He will apply to get his Master's degree in counseling and human services next fall. He could have done none of this without the support of his AOT team. The treatment model for people with psychotic illnesses is very flawed. The more support they get to stay stable the better outcome for their life. If they are delusional they can't make rational decisions. Please support AOT.”  CALIFORNIA

“Recently, my adult family member took his life though we tried for nearly a year to get help for him. He had complete lack of insight about his condition and thought he could not die. His neighbors even called the police to report his dangerous (to himself) behavior and we called them and the local mental health department to see how we could get help. We were blocked by the current laws and criteria that make it almost impossible to get help for someone who says they're ok, even when multiple people are reporting and trying desperately to get them help. This was deadly for our family member and traumatic for our entire family. No family or person should suffer this way! It is too late for our loved one, but there are so many more precious lives that could be saved if progress could be made. Every person you see out there on the street (or wherever) is someone's child, sibling or parent. Please help by passing and implementing measures that will help the most vulnerable in our society and their families.”  COLORADO

"I agree that those who have anosognosia, and do not realize they have a mental illness or refuse to take meds, are left to their own devices because, in spite of being mentally ill, their civil rights are more important than their brain disorder. So they can't be forced to take medication against their will.”  PENNSYLVANIA

“I had an older sister who desperately needed help and did not get it. She died alone, without family and homeless."  NEW YORK

“My family has suffered greatly because of severe mental illness of family members: my deceased husband, my son and my sister-in-law. Now my husband and his brother are dead and my son accused. Help stop the pain and suffering families who are unable to get the treatment their love ones need, even when they themselves don't believe it to be so.”  NEW YORK

“As a family member, directly involved in the care of someone released over 50 times without AOT, I know it just doesn't work. Now with just one AOT involvement, my family member has had zero forced hospitalizations in over 6 years. AOT works. Stop the pain and destruction of lives, so advocate for those too seriously ill to help themselves. AOT for SMI Works!”  WISCONSIN

To Be Continued...

Photo credit: Christine/Flickr  

Photo credit: Christine/Flickr