August 4th: I’ll Be Discussing Mental Health Courts On NPR And New Senate Mental Health Bill Will Be Introduced


I will be appearing on NPR’s nationally syndicated Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday, August 4th, discussing innovative ways to divert individuals with mental illnesses from jails and prisons into treatment.  Check local listings for broadcast times and please call her show to add your voice to those in support of mental health courts and other jail diversion efforts.

Also at noon on Tuesday, Senators Scott Chris Murphy  (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) will introduce their bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. This bill is similar, but different from Rep. Tim Murphy’s House version, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act, that failed to make it out of committee last session but was re-introduced and has 100 sponsors. I will be posting a comparison after the Murphy/Cassidy bill is introduced. I am a fan of both Senators, especially Senator Cassidy, who I’ve spoken to several times and is a medical doctor. He understands first-hand why reforms are necessary.

From NPR Diane Rehm Show website:

Jails in the U.S. have increasingly become holding cells for people suffering from mental illness despite the fact that the vast majority pose no threat to public safety: an update on new efforts to keep mentally ill people out of jail and into treatment.


*Pete Earley author of thirteen books. His best-seller: “Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness,” was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. He is a former Washington Post reporter. His the father of an adult son diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

  • Evelyn Lundberg Stratton attorney, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease former, justice Ohio Supreme Court
  • Dr. Fred Osher, director of health systems and services policy, Council of State Governments Justice Center,
  • Tom van Hemert, coordinator, Crisis Intervention Team, Thomas Jefferson Area, Virginia
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.