CRISIS NOW: National Campaign To Create A Uniform Mental Health Response And Recovery System Not Dependent On Police Or Emergency Rooms

Three minute plus video explains model crisis care system.

(10-26-20) What are we doing to create a better mental health care system?

CRISIS NOW, a four prong approach, is gaining national attention from SAMHSA and being endorsed by many of the nation’s largest mental health organizations, including The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, CIT International, RI International, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

That’s a powerful coalition so what is CRISIS NOW?

David Covington, the CEO and President of RI International, described the approach at a recent meeting of ISMICC, a federal panel appointed to advise Congress about the most innovative and best practices in mental health.

The goal behind CRISIS NOW is to create a uniform mental health system that is not so heavily dependent on the police and hospital emergency rooms. The first prong is creating Crisis Call Hubs, which can be contacted by voice, text, or chat through a specific telephone number rather than having those in crisis call 9-1-1. President Donald Trump recently signed into law bipartisan legislation identifying 9-8-8 as a three digit number for a Mental Health Crisis Hotline. Slated to go into effect nationally in July 2022, it will replace the current National Suicide Prevention Hotline, a more complicated 10-digit number — 1-800-273-TALK.

But this new number under the CRISIS NOW approach would offer much more than its predecessor.

Click to continue…

Should Prosecutors Seek the Death Penalty in the Batman Movie Massacre Case

Prosecutors have not decided whether they will seek the death penalty in the horrific, so-called Batman “movie massacre” shooting in Aurora, Colorado.  James Eagan Holmes is charged with murdering twelve movie-goers and injuring 58 others in what ranks as the highest number of casualties in an American mass shooting.

Sunday’s edition of The Denver Post printed articles by two lawyers, one arguing in favor and the other against a death sentence. A recent CBS News report revealed that Holmes had met with at least three mental health professionals at the University of Colorado prior to the shootings.  His name also was brought to the attention of the school’s Behavior Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, although it’s not clear what school officials did or didn’t do when they learned that Holmes was troubled. Some reports have suggested he has schizophrenia.

I don’t believe that persons whose crimes were prompted by a severe mental disorder such as schizophrenia should be executed. What follows is my response to the reasons that have been given by those who think a death sentence is justified.

Click to continue…

A Daughter With Bipolar Disorder is Frustrated With Her Father With Bipolar Disorder

I  receive dozens of emails a week from family members who are frustrated by our failed mental health system. All of them are poignant. Here is a recent one that I found especially compelling.

Hi Pete Earley,

…I came across your book while looking for a source of comfort during my own family’s time of need. Two months ago, my dad was finally forced into treatment for his undiagnosed severe bipolar disorder and coexisting extreme alcoholism. My mother and I (I am an only child) have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get him help.

In order for him to finally be involuntary subjected to treatment, he had to have a major traumatic psychotic episode. He had a previous psychotic episode earlier this year that landed him in a mental health facility for one week. But the latest one proved even more traumatic to all of us.

Click to continue…

SLY FOX Selling Briskly — A Great Beach Read!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I mentioned that I’d collaborated with FOX Television’s Judge Jeanine Pirro on a new fiction book entitled SLY FOX: A Dani Fox Novel.

Inspired by criminal cases that Jeanine prosecuted early in her legal career, the book introduces readers to Dani Fox, a young, feisty, female prosecutor in New York during the late 1970s who goes after abusive  husbands and murderers.

Jeanine has been busy promoting SLY FOX this month and reviewers have described it as a great beach read. It is much different from the serious nonfiction topics that interest me and was fun to work on.  I’m about to leave on a much needed beach vacation with my family.

Hopefully, I will see some sun bathers turning the book’s pages during my morning and evening walks in the sand!


My Son’s First Gallery Art Show: RESILIENT – Paintings Overcoming Pain

Daniel in Lion’s Den

I’m proud to announce that my son — identified as MIKE in my book and known by his friends as Kevin — will be showing a collection of his original paintings at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery in Reston,  1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190, during the month of August with an opening reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on August 5th, a Sunday.

If you are in the area and would like to meet my son and see his artwork, please attend the reception!

A 2005 graduate of Pratt Institute, where he earned a BFA in fine art with a concentration in painting, Kevin has titled his show, “Resilient.”

Click to continue…

The Colorado Shootings and Mental Illness: As a Nation we still don’t get it!


We don’t know enough about the mind of the alleged Colorado shooter,  James Holmes,  to determine if he has a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, or if he was driven by some narcissistic, anti-social desire to hurt others and become infamous.

But as the father of an adult son with bipolar disorder, who has been arrested and who once fixated on a movie during a psychotic break, I’ve watched the public reaction to the horrific shootings in Aurora — and earlier ones in Tuscon and on the Virginia Tech University campus — with trepidation. As a nation, we are stumped by mental illnesses.

Some observations.

* These awful tragedies should turn attention on our nation’s woefully inadequate mental health care system. Instead, the spotlight always focuses on gun control. A possible reason is because people are afraid of being sympathetic or being viewed as excusing the acts of the gunman if they discuss mental illness. But how can we prevent future shootings if we don’t question why Seung-Hui Cho fell through the cracks in Virginia after he was declared “a danger to himself and others” or why Jared Lee Loughner’s schizophrenia went untreated? We ignore the elephant in the room — our nation’s failed mental health care system — at our own peril.

Click to continue…