(3-2-2015) While flying home Friday from Louisiana, I reached a milestone. Somewhere above Tennessee, I crossed the half-million mile mark in jet travel and, yes, all of those miles were accumulated because of trips that I made to give speeches about the need for mental health reform.
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation offered to re-schedule my Thursday night appearance because of my father’s death two days earlier. But I knew that the Foundation’s Patricia Calfee had spent months making arrangements for my speech and I also felt that focusing on something besides grieving for my father might be helpful. I also knew that if my dad had been alive, he would have insisted that I go. He was not one to break a promise. (I’ve posted links at the end of this blog about my Louisiana speech.)
It’s been eight years since I gave a first hand account in my book about how jails and prisons have become our new mental asylums. Sadly, there’s not been a drop in incarceration rates for persons with mental illnesses. Instead the number is growing.