A Reader Writes: We’re Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

takingmattersHi Pete

I’ll be brief.

My daughter, who is functionally opioid dependant, recently befriended a 24 year-old homeless mentally ill man who was discharged from the New York state foster care system and given a monthly SSI income.

He was wandering from sleeping in public doorways and recently while in a homeless shelter packed with thirty others on cots in a room with no supervision, he was attacked by other homeless and ended up in an emergency room. No one was arrested and the shelter, run by a well-known, nationwide nonprofit continues to operate, often causing more harm than good in my opinion.

Individuals such as my daughter’s friend often are safer on the streets. 

Enraged, my daughter and I have taken him in.

He has no family, but aside from what appears to be a condition of budding schizophrenia, is very intelligent and has a pleasant demeanor. In the past he has already been victimized by greedy landlords grabbing his government check. 

We know exactly what he needs, as both of us have been in his shoes, and we know firsthand how our nation’s convoluted system works. We are determined to get him the treatment he needs, including the housing, by forcing the hand of every agency that purports to assist the mentally ill.

 Herein lies the sham: 

I, a seasoned survivor of serious 4% type mental illness, a lifetime of learning what works and what doesn’t and a daughter who can’t stand to see others suffer as she did, will assist this young man to a path of personal wellness.  

We will make and attend appointments with him. We will take him to lawyers, mental health centers, shelters, caseworkers — you name it. 

We will insist, and get results. 

You see, mental health care, looking after our neighbor to help him be all that he can be, should never be a profit driven business. To heal from a human condition or illness is a natural right. 

We live in a world where there is much money to be made off keeping people sick !

It’s not hard to recover and manage a mental illness. Many like myself have done it. I will keep you informed as to the progress of two people diagnosed with mental illness, who are singlehandedly ensuring the recovery of one mentally ill homeless young person, whom the state of new York, all do-gooder agencies and profit-making hospitals and doctors have failed. 

Common sense and compassion brings more healing than complicated money-driven laws, mandates, jail cells, and treatments that don’t work. So far, all the evidence based programs are lopsided, focussing on incomplete facets of life skills. 

It is people like myself, who know mental illness and the mental health systems firsthand, and inside out, who are equipped to expedite help to the mentally ill. No average  family or loved one can be expected to know intuitively exactly how to go about facilitating the right care for their loved one. My god, the hoops you must go through are crazy, and half the time the professionals relied upon by trusting families, are themselves inept, clueless, or more likely offering easy, pat, and profit-making solutions. They keep a patient coming back, forever locked in the system, never becoming completely well.

As I have, and many others have proved is possible even with the most severe 4%type mental illness.

Your friend

M. B. G.

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.