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

WE ARE SICK, NOT EVIL by Craig Willers

I wanted to share these thoughts to help people understand what mental illness really means.

I've been sick with schizophrenia since I was 18 and I'm 54 now. Mental illness can be deadly and is little understood in the world today (still). As a patient, I had to learn about my own illness in order to move forward with my life. People without mental health challenges need to learn about mental illness, too. We can't stay in the Dark Ages forever.

Everyday I hear someone say, "so and so is nuts/crazy/a lunatic" in an attempt to describe behavior they find offensive and contradictory to what they believe. Please refrain from attaching "insane" to evil or wrong behavior/beliefs. It makes you sound uninformed at best and unintelligent as well. We are sick, not evil.  Thank you. 


Photo Credit: Dominic Dean Flickr

Photo Credit: Dominic Dean

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