Daughter Calls For Reforms After Dad’s Suicide – You Can Add Your Voice – Creigh Deeds Urges Voters To Pick Hillary

barbara-1(11-7-16) Ken Gladieux was diagnosed with a mental illness when he was 28. Even so, he finished medical school, became a psychiatrist, married and started a family. In 2009, he moved to Lynchburg, Virginia to a new practice. Thirteen days later, he ended his own life.

His daughter, Meg, was only eight years old when he died. Today, she is a high school sophomore and, along with her mother, Barbara, a vocal advocate for suicide prevention and mental health education. Recently Meg read a story during an interview on The Mike Show, broadcast on a Lynchburg radio station, to promote the Lynchburg Out the Darkness Walk that was held October 1st.  

“My kids are doing well today and they are very successful,” Barbara explained in an email. “Ken and I built a fine life and a foundation for our kids based on love and care.  We have had much support from Kids Haven, a local non profit place, for grieving kids.  I hope the continued nurturing will help them deal with life in the future.  Our family believes in helping others and reaching out for help!”

Please listen to her five minute statement. It is inspiring. Great job Meg! Thanks for speaking out.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.  Margaret Meade.

You can speak out too!

Meg Gladieux is not the only champion speaking out. SARDAA, the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, has unveiled a new campaign called    Hearing Voices Of Support.

 Schizophrenia is probably the most misunderstood brain disorder. People with schizophrenia or a related brain disorder are often reluctant to talk about it for fear of being judged or discriminated against. Hearing Voices of Support is an initiative to promote acceptance, support, hope, and recovery for people living with schizophrenia and related brain disorders…We’ve invited people to speak openly about the voices they hear. And we’re inviting you to share your voice of support.

You can record your own story at the website.

Based on these interviews, we will have an historic jumbotron presence on Times Square for millions to see real faces of individuals affected by schizophrenia-related brain illnesses,” SARDAA’s Executive Director Linda Stalters told me in an email. “The jumbotron will be live through the end of January so millions will see a positive message during the Thanksgiving Day Parade and New Year’s Eve.”

Mental Health Advocate Creigh Deeds Urges Virginians To Vote For Hillary Clinton

For too long in this nation the mentally ill have been an afterthought — a secret shared by many families, but never a public policy priority. We never developed adequate services in the community to actually address and treat mental health problems, so today, without proper care facilities, many with mental illness are simply re-institutionalized in our jails and prisons.

In Virginia, nearly one-fifth of all adults and one in every 13 children cope with a mental health problem, yet they don’t receive treatment. On average, adults with mental illness wait 10 years to obtain care. Nationwide, only 50 percent of children with a mental health diagnosis get the treatment they need.

Without proper treatment, the statistics are sobering. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death in young people age 10-24. Roughly 20 percent of all inmates in our prisons nationwide have a history of mental illness.

Mental illness is not a partisan issue. It will take leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact the change our country and our families urgently need.

Hillary Clinton has made mental health reform a major priority in her campaign, releasing a detailed plan to transform the way we treat and view mental illness.

Clinton’s plan will reinvigorate community services, enforce mental health parity, invest in crisis intervention training for our law enforcement community, expand housing and employment opportunities for those with mental illness, and promote much-needed additional research. Another critical component of the plan is convening a White House Conference on Mental Health within her first year.

Nothing can break down the barrier between treatment of the physically ill and treatment of the mentally ill more than a president’s commitment to treat both the same.

Creigh Deeds, State Senator, 25th District. Charlottesville. A Democrat.

First printed in the Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper as a letter to the editor

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.