Three Authors Discuss Books At Summit Exposing Criminalization Of Americans With Mental Illnesses

Thanks to so many of you who congratulated my son, Kevin, yesterday on his completion of his Masters Degree in Social Work. I deeply appreciate your support.

(12-16-20) I’ve been fortunate to participate in a three-day summit this week whose speakers and attendees are focusing on decriminalizing mental illnesses.

I joined two other authors Monday in discussing the problem – more than two million Americans with mental illnesses being booked into jails each year.

Click here to watch the authors’ panel that I participated in along with Dr. Christine Montross, author of Waiting for An Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration and Alisa Roth, author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness. Our discussion was moderated by Norman Ornstein, a nationally known political scientist who lost his son, Matthew, to mental illness.

During yesterday’s summit, Miami-Dade County Judge Steven Leifman; Debbie Plotnick, with Mental Health America; and Sandy Santana, executive director of Children’s Rights, spoke about programs which are reducing inappropriate incarceration. Today, the headliners will discuss ways to implement successful programs. (Unfortunately, the summit require pre-registration.)

The summit is the brainchild of William H. Carson, M.D., chair of the Sozosei Foundation, the charitable foundation created by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, whose neurosciences drugs include the atypical antipsychotic medications Abilify and Rexulti, the latter in partnership with Lundbeck. Both are approved to treat schizophrenia and as an add-on for major depressive disorder; Abilify is also approved for use in bipolar disorder. I was not paid to participate.

I’ve attended numerous conferences and summits during the past 14 years. Hopefully, this gathering of such influential players as Tom Insel, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health, representatives from all major mental health organizations, Xavier Amador from the LEAP Foundation, and frequent readers of this blog, including Joesph Meyer, Leslie Carpenter, and so many other familiar names, will create a pathway to change.

If a recap of the summit becomes available, I will be posting it.

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.