D. J. Jaffe: Rest In Peace


(9-2-20) Several readers told me they are upset and disappointed that I published a blog this week whose writer was critical of D. J. Jaffe, a friend and fellow advocate of mine. I was told the timing was insensitive coming so close to his death. Others felt betrayed.

None of this was my intention.

D.J. was my friend. We enjoyed each other’s company. I admired his tenacity and advocacy for the seriously mentally ill who he passionately argued are too often ignored and abandoned by our mental health care system, government and mental health organizations. He was well-loved by many parents, especially those who often feel voiceless.

Periodically, I post views different from my own. I do this to present and better understand different points of view and hopefully build bridges. Based on comments on my Facebook page, that didn’t happen this week. Instead, the chasm between those who considered Jaffe a champion and those who felt hurt by him grew deeper. Positions more intransigent. I deeply regret this divide and wish it were otherwise. Deep down I believe all of us want the best for one another. The problem is that these issues are complex and, often by their nature, divisive. While we quarrel among ourselves, the rest of the world remains unaware and unconcerned about our struggles and hopes.

Those of us who appreciated D. J. will continue to do so. Those who didn’t will continue to do so.

None of the turmoil swirling around his death would have surprised him. He relished the role of being a bomb thrower and was not someone who was concerned about going through life quietly.

Rest in Peace D. J.

Other voices:

Manhattan Institute: Jaffe a passionate and tireless advocate for the seriously mentally ill.

Treatment Advocacy Center: a longtime, relentless pioneer in efforts to prioritize the care of those with severe mental illness,

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.