U of Arkansas Picks CRAZY For “One Book, One Community” Discussion

Two minute video about event

From University of Arkansas Newswire

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The intersection of the America’s mental health care system and it’s law enforcement system is the subject of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, by reporter, novelist and non-fiction author Pete Earley, this year’s selection for the University of Arkansas ‘One Book, One Community’ project.

“Recent tragic events such as those at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Washington Navy Yard, and most recently near the U.S. Capitol are all reminders of the serious problems this country faces in terms of mental illness and treatment,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the One Book, One Community committee. “Recent history shows that these issues can touch any one of us, at any time, with terrible results. Pete Earley’s book details a personal story and goes on to examine what he finds to be a seriously flawed system. We on the committee hope this book will inspire a local discussion to begin dealing with these issues.”

Crazy explores Earley’s experience after his son, who is bi-polar, was arrested for breaking into a stranger’s house and wound up tangled in both the mental health system and our criminal justice system. Earley was deeply frustrated by the experience and decided to learn more. He got permission to spend nine months inside the Miami Dade County jail, following inmates with mental disorders through the criminal justice system and out into the streets. He came to the conclusion that the American mental health system “crazy” and in his book he advocates for a better way.

“I hope you will join me in reading Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness by Pete Earley,” said U of A Chancellor G. David Gearhart as part of a video message to the campus and local community. “Whether you agree or disagree with what Earley says, we’d like you to be part of the conversation. It is truly an extraordinary book and one I could not put down till I finished every word.”

Crazy is being read this semester by incoming freshmen as part of the U of A’s new University Perspectives course, and also by students in classes from a variety of disciplines. Local community book clubs associated with the Fayetteville Public Library will add the book to their reading list. Beyond that, everyone at the university and in the community is invited to read the book and take part in events organized around the theme of community mental health.

So far three free public events have been scheduled in connection with the One Book, One Community project:

◾A panel discussion on the issues involving the mental health and judicial systems will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville.

◾Dr. Justin Hunt, a psychiatrist and mental health services researcher, will speak on “Arkansas Behavioral Health System Transformation: Patient-Centered Care through Health Homes” from 2:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the Hembre Room of the Willard J. Walker Hall at the University of Arkansas.
◾Earley will hold a free public lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Verizon Ballroom of the Arkansas Union. He will also speak to local book club members at their annual meeting in the Fayetteville Public Library on Friday, Nov. 8.
More information about One Book, One Community events can be found at onebook.uark.edu.

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.