TOO MANY FAMILIES LIVE THIS PAIN by Jacque Cowger Mckinney

I have struggled with this post, but my husband, Steve, and I discussed it last night and decided we want to help educate, to the best of our ability, and to help make sense of some of the madness that surrounds us.

For a while, we knew that, in Illinois, a person has the right for a jury to determine their continued treatment in an inpatient psychiatric setting. We faced a six-person jury with an alternate to determine continued treatment for our child. We worried and dreaded the situation for weeks. How could six people, who had no experience or comprehension of this illness, determine our loved one's care? It seemed to me that a qualified physician should make that determination.

Well, yesterday, we arrived at the courtroom at 9:30 A.M. and left around 5:30 P.M. The decision was for continued treatment. I admit, after being sequestered ourselves, for five-and-a-half hours, we were frustrated and angry. But, after all was said and done, we realized that the world view of seven more individuals was changed forever. They were educated on the illness as well as the insufficiency of services in our state. One juror looked at us and said, “My heart breaks for you.”

I post this to say that, sometimes, we must be vulnerable and transparent for others to comprehend the nature of the beast we deal with, and for changes to be made. We’re not alone. Too many families live this pain. Please pray for change in our country for the care of some of our most vulnerable.

 Jacque & Steve

Jacque & Steve