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.

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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:

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Great News for New Year!

Washingtonian magazine has named Trudy Harsh as one of its twelve Washingtonians of the Year in its current January issue.

“For 39 years, The Washingtonian has honored those who bring help and hope to the neediest among us, give at-risk children a fighting chance, enrich our educational and cultural lives, and make Washington a better place for all of us,” the magazine announced in introducing this year’s winners.

I first wrote about Trudy last year on Mother’s Day in this blog  after seeing for myself   how she was helping persons with mental disorders find supportive housing in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Click to continue…

Have Hope, Be Well, Happy Holidays!

Mental illnesses do not observe holidays. But I do.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. 

— Pete Earley

Here is a little something my friend, Sam Ormes sent me recently to share.

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Chemicals and mental disorders

I don’t like to reprint articles on my blog, but this one is something that I hope everyone concerned about mental health reads.

By Shelia Kaplan for AOL news.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — As the rates of learning disabilities, autism and related conditions rise, the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to release a roster of the pollutants likely to contribute to these or other neurological disorders.

In an ongoing, three-year effort, an EPA team has determined which developmental neurotoxicants — chemicals that damage a fetal and infant brain — may pose the biggest risk to the American public.

Some compounds on the EPA’s list are ubiquitous in household products, drinking water, medicine, and within the environment. They range from cadmium, used to etch colorful cartoons onto children’s glasses, to flame retardants used to fireproof upholstered furniture.

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