Pete on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” (Video)

Update: The clip from the show has been added to the post.

Candy Crowley is examining the State of the Union: Mental Health on Sunday, 1-16-11, and I will be one of her guests. Dr. Fred Frese and I are scheduled to be interviewed between 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. EST about our experiences in the mental health system. Continue reading to view the clip from the show.

USA TODAY: Don’t Blame Loughner’s Parents

I didn’t write the headline, but I did write this Op Ed piece for USA Today. The newspaper posted it on line this morning. The article will be published Monday in the print edition and I will be answering questions via USA CHAT on Monday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST. Given the controversy, I expect there to be a lively discussion.   

Don’t BLame Loughner’s Parents

USA TODAY

By Pete Earley
What’s wrong with Jared Loughner’s parents? Why didn’t they do something? They must have known. Just look at the photograph of the Tucson shooting suspect. That grin. He’s clearly nuts. They should have raised him better.

These are some of the comments I’ve heard and read on the Internet about Randy and Amy Loughner, whose son has been charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 12 others, and killing six bystanders.

It’s unlikely the Loughners’ statement — that they “don’t understand why this happened”— will soothe the criticism and anger aimed at them. But as the parent of an adult son with a severe mental illness who has been arrested, I can sympathize with the Loughners and testify that there are reasons why a parent can be caught off guard.

Click to continue…

Elephant In The Room

Amid all of the rhetoric, name-calling, and finger-pointing that’s going on, it’s nice that some journalists and advocates are actually speaking out thoughtfully about how difficult it is to get meaningful help for a person with a mental disorder.  Diane Rehm on NPR devoted an hour to the struggles that parents face when they have an adult child with a disorder. I was grateful to be part of that discussion. 
 Kudos to Diane and kudos to these others.

Scheduled to be on NPR Tuesday

I am scheduled to be one of the guests being interviewed on Tuesday, January 11, at 10:00am EST on the Diane Rehm Show, which is broadcast on many NPR stations.

I will be discussing the shootings in Tuscon.

Diane will be accepting calls so if you have an opinion to voice, please call the show.

Time to speak out, not hide!

As I write this, we still don’t know if Jared Loughner had been diagnosed with a mental disorder before his weekend shooting rampage. Loughner is the 22 year-old accused of wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D.-Ariz.) and killing a federal judge along with five others in Tuscon.    

The Washington Post and New York Times both reported that officials at Pima Community College told Loughner and his parents in October that he would not be able to continue as a student until he obtained a clearance from a mental health professional  that certified he was not a danger to himself or others.

That revelation certainly implies that Loughner was exhibiting symptoms of a mental disorder, but no one should automatically assume that.

Stories such as Loughner’s are upsetting to those of us who have loved ones with mental illnesses. That’s especially true if your loved one has tangled with the police while psychotic because you know how quickly an incident can turn violent.

If it turns out that Loughner did have a diagnosed mental disorder, I hope the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), and other leading advocacy groups do not run for cover.

Instead, they should follow the example that  NAMI Ohio set last week when Sheriff’s Deputy Suzanne Hopper, age 40, the mother of two children, was murdered by a man with a severe mental illness.

Click to continue…

New Website Changes and Updates

It was around this time last year that I helped my dad, Pete, launch this redesign of his site with the big addition of a blog. Since then, it has grown to become a great outlet for my dad to express himself and a source of knowledge and insight for others and I am happy about that. However, the website has been getting “old” in the fast times of the internet and it was time to implement some changes that went live last night/today:

Click to continue…