3 New Books By Advocates About Mental Illnesses & Recovery

(7-22-20) Advocates who have written for my blog or spoken to me personally are releasing three new books about mental illness. The titles are:

A Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery: What You Need to Know from Day One by Virgil Stucker and Stephanie McMahon.

He Came In With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness by Miriam Feldman

Fix What You Can by Mindy Greiling

A Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery: What You Need to Know from Day One by Virgil Stucker and Stephanie McMahon,

Virgil Stucker and his daughter Stephanie McMahon have written a self-published guide to help “empower the mental health decision making” of individuals who are concerned about a loved one with a mental illness. The 103 page paperback is divided into five chapters entitled: Understanding Your Situation, Becoming a Resilient Champion, Understanding Treatment and Care Options, An Uncertain Path and Struggles and Hope.

(From the book’s cover.) “Across my career covering mental health, I have fielded scores or urgent calls from readers: ‘My brother’s suicidal’ or ‘my daughter is on the street, psychotic’ – what do I do? There was never one good answer. But now there is: A warmly written, deeply informed guide for families in crisis, by true experts with a lifetime of experience.” Benedict Carey, science reporter for The New York Times. 

Virgil Stucker was President Emeritus of the CooperRiis Healing Community in 2017 after serving as founding Executive Director from 2003. He has been involved in healing communities, beginning with Gould Farm, since 1975, and is now a therapeutic consultant running Virgil Stucker and Associates.  Stephanie McMahon created the company’s podcast, Mental Horizons, and is a health coach.

“As you know, families experience chaos and uncertainty when a loved one’s mental illness emerges,” Virgil wrote in an email. “The small and accessible book that my daughter Stephanie and I launched on May 11th is our effort to provide guidance to these families, starting from the moment of the first hospitalization to the long-term planning that is needed for the 8.4 million (and growing) families who are caring for a loved one with persistent mental illness, whose average age is 45…

“Our book is non-ideological, that is it does not provide The Answer. Instead it encourages family empowerment and engagement and shows that there are indeed pathways toward recovery, ways for families to help their loved one to achieve and sustain his or her highest levels of functioning and fulfillment.”

He Came In With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness by Miriam Feldman

Miriam Feldman’s guest blog – You, me and my son with Sczhophrenia  – remains one of the most read posts on my webpage. A talented writer and artist, Miriam Feldman’s book recounts how her idyllic family careens off-course when her son, Nick, is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Violence, evictions, arrests, a suicide attempt, a near-drowning, even cancer and a brain tumor are obstacles that this determined and resilient mother fights to reclaim her son from the throes of a serious mental illness.

A number of well known figures have written endorsements for this deeply personal book from Turner Publishing. Including actor Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Jackson, who wrote: “We watched Miriam become a five-star general in a war against the insidious adversary which threatened to claim the life of her beautiful boy. In He Came in With It, she shows us the way through an unimaginable terror to the light of hope. She is our Hero.”

Other glowing comments came from Tony Shaloub, actor on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Monk, Patricia Heaton actress on Everybody Loves Raymond, several bestselling authors, and mental health advocates Elyn Saks, best-selling author of The Center Cannot Hold and Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and best selling author of No One Cares About Crazy People. I also endorsed it, calling the Feldman’s book “a testament to the enduring power of a mother’s love…”

Fix What You Can by Mindy Greiling

Mindy Greiling served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for more than twenty years where she became a tireless and unrelenting advocate for mental health reform after her son, Jim, began experiencing delusions in his college years ordering him to kill his mother.

Mindy worried that her’s son’s fate would follow that of her own grandmother, who in 1955, was committed to Rochester State Hospital. In her memoir, which will be published in October, she recounts the difficulties that she and her husband Roger faced – despite her political connections – navigating an inadequate and often unresponsive system and her state house efforts to “fix” the state’s mental health care. A former state and national board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mindy reformed hospital release procedures and introduced legislation that allows for earlier intervention on behalf of those in crisis who do not recognize they are ill.

Thanks to all three for sharing their experience and family stories. Knowledge replaces fear.


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.