Elyn Saks Podcast Interview With Virgil Stucker: 3 Keys To Her Successful Management of Debilitating Schizophrenia

(7-12-19) Elyn Saks is probably best-known as the author of The Center Cannot Hold, her eloquent best-selling autobiography that recounts when she first heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, her attempted suicides in college, and ultimately how she learned to live on her own as an adult with schizophrenia in an often terrifying world.

Virgil Stucker is best-known as the former founding executive director of the CooperRiis Healing Community, retiring after a long career working in therapeutic communities. He now runs Virgil Stucker Associates, a private firm that “empowers mental health decision making for families and individuals… advocating for integrative, holistic solutions to the challenges of mental illnesses.”

This week, Virgil interviewed Elyn on his podcast about what has helped her manage her serious mental illness so successfully. (Hint: Great treatment that involves medication and therapy, supportive loved ones, and meaningful work.) They also discuss “Supported Decision-Making” through the use of psychiatric advance directives, and her tireless efforts to eliminate the use of mechanic restraints for persons in crisis.

A few years ago, Elyn had me speak at the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, which is part of the USC Gould School of Law, about the inappropriate incarceration of individuals with mental illnesses. We are friends and both serve together on the federal Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) that advises Congress. Virgil is a long-time proponent of self-determination and non-coercive treatment for individuals with serious mental illnesses.

Near the end of the hour, Elyn discusses her plans to host a conference that will focus on mental illnesses and immigrants. You can listen to more of Virgil’s podcasts here. 

Note: This podcast is used with permission from Virgil Stucker Associates.


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.