Mother Praises Sheriff Kincaid, Court, County Mental Health Officials Helping Her Jailed Son

Fairfax Sheriff Stacey Kincaid makes mental health a priority

(2-3-22) Last October, I posted a blog from a desperate Fairfax County (Va.) mother under the title: Off Medication: “I Fear He will Kill Me!” Mother Says About Jailed Son.  This week, she sent me a note. I was delighted to read it, but not surprised. Sheriff Stacy Kincaid and her fellow Fairfax officials have made helping individuals with serious mental illnesses a priority. Bravo!

While there are always improvements that can and should be made, Fairfax County has come a long, long way from where it was 16 years ago. Back then, there was little interest in Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement and when I asked to meet with the county’s chief judge to discuss creating a mental health docket, he refused to speak with me. 

Don’t give up hope if you live in a community where there is little interest in CIT,  jail diversion, and mental health dockets. Just keep fighting.

Dear Mr. Earley,

I wanted to share an email with you.  I sent it to Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid regarding all of the good people who are trying to help my son. I’m aware that he’s lucky to be in the particular jail that he’s in and I want to give credit where credit is due.

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I Described Putin As A Common Thief in 2011. Eleven Years Later, He Adds Killer To That Title


(3-2-22) Having written three books about American traitors and Soviet spies, I have paid close attention to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2011, I described him as a street thug and common thief. What I posted then, remains relevant today. His invasion into Ukraine shows that he is much more — he is a dangerous and pompous threat to freedom loving people. 

The World’s Biggest Thief : First Posted In 2-2011

Advocating for better mental health care is a top priority to me, but it’s not my only interest. I took time last week to have lunch with a friend of mine who works for a U.S. intelligence agency and our conversation quickly turned to Russia.

I have been fascinated with the Kremlin and Moscow much of my life.  Perhaps, it started when I was a youngster living in Pueblo, Colorado when my mother began storing food items in the bathroom closet in 1962. The bathroom was the only room in our small house that didn’t have windows, which was why it was chosen as our family’s emergency bomb shelter if the Soviet Union attacked.

For those too young to remember, 1962 was when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened and at the elementary school that I attended, we did drills where we either hurried into hallways or ducked under our desks. That was supposed to help us if  bombs fell.

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Mothers Of Adult Children With Serious Mental Illnesses: The Pain Of Self-Blame

(2-25-22) Leslie Carpenter, a well-known Iowa advocate and reader of this blog, sent me an email about a new book entitled: DIFFICULT: Mothering Challenging Adult Children Through Conflict And Change by Judith R. Smith.

“It is unlike any other book I have read so far,” Leslie wrote, “as it exposes the unreasonable burdens placed on family members…” 

During my travels, I’ve seen how mothers often take on tremendous guilt when a child develops symptoms of a serious mental illness. Often times, it is mothers who assume the role of caregiver, especially if their ill child is a daughter. I contacted the author.

“My book is based on a three-year research project,” Judith Smith writes. “The book brings to life the stories of thirty-five women, each over sixty years old, whose lives were drastically altered by becoming the default safety net for their adult “kids.” … I discovered that mothers perceived their adult children’s behavior as “difficult” when they found themselves, once again, prioritizing their children’s needs over their own and saw no “exit” for themselves or their adult children from their problems.”

She agreed to let me post several paragraphs and a book excerpt.

From DIFFICULT: Mothering Challenging Adult Children Through Conflict And Change  By Judith R. Smith, Phd, LCSW. Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Used with author’s permission.

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People, Place, Purpose: Dr. Tom Insel’s Recipe For Helping People Heal Explained In New Book

Dr. Thomas Insel explains his campaign to educate the public.

(2-22-22) Dr. Tom Insel’s new book, Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health, is getting a lot of attention. I posted an excerpt from it  last week. I asked Dr. Insel why he decided to write it. He explained that his book is part of a broader media campaign to educate and motivate the public – a campaign that includes a PBS special Hiding In Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness scheduled for release in June. My son, Kevin, was interviewed for this Ken Burns’ documentary, which will feature some of his artwork.

Dear Pete,

Today marks the release of my book, Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health.  In one sense, this book started fifteen years ago when I watched Al Gore present An Inconvenient Truth.  As I watched him dramatize the data for climate change with the hope of awakening us all to this silent threat, I thought, “Why isn’t someone waking up the nation to our mental health crisis?”

Of course, climate change is an emerging existential threat and mental illness is neither new nor a threat to the planet.  But the mental health crisis can be solved.  It does not take every nation on earth committing to carbon reduction or transforming our energy infrastructure.  It just takes a commitment to solutions that we have in hand.

This is perhaps the greatest tragedy of the mental health crisis.  It’s an unforced error.

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Putting Out The Fire: Dr. Thomas Insel’s New Book Offers Path To Improving Our Mental Health System

(2-17-22) A much anticipated book by Dr. Thomas R. Insel, who directed the National Institutes of Mental Health between 2002 to 2015, will be published February 22nd but is available now for preorder. I am an unabashed fan of Dr. Insel and am happily endorsing:  HEALING: Our Path From Mental Illness To Mental Health.

In addition to being a passionate advocate, Dr. Insel is a compassionate doctor. Several months ago, I told him about a friend whose husband was showing symptoms of a serious mental illness. Even though Dr. Insel was swamped and had little time, he telephoned the family, spent more than an hour talking to the husband and wife, and pulled strings so the husband could get a treatment bed, enabling him to achieve the help that he needed to fully recover.

The Atlantic magazine published an excerpt of the first chapter of his book this week. In that opening chapter, Dr. Insel recalls how he was doing a power point presentation at a mental health convention that showed the progress NIMH funded scientists were achieving studying the brain. Here’s what happened next.

A tall, bearded man in the back of the room wearing a flannel shirt appeared more and more agitated. When the Q&A period began, he jumped to the microphone. “You really don’t get it,” he said. “My 23-year-old son has schizophrenia. He has been hospitalized five times, made three suicide attempts, and now he is homeless. Our house is on fire and you are talking about the chemistry of the paint.” As I stood there somewhat dumbstruck, he asked, “What are you doing to put out this fire?”

In his new book, Dr. Insel describes how we can put out that fire.

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Psychotic Austin Man Hit By Car Released From Hospital To Streets Despite Mother’s Pleas

courtesy of pixabay

(2-14-22) Justin Brodman, a 40 year-old Austin man who has been hospitalized 70 times, is back on the streets, living under a freeway overpass, with fresh sutures on the head wound that he received when he walked out into traffic on a busy street. Only now, those gruesome cuts are showing signs of infection.

I posted a blog Friday about repeated attempts by his mother, Frances Musgrove, to get him appropriate treatment. 

And yet, he was discharged to the streets because he doesn’t believed he is mentally ill and the police and local mental health officials insist Justin doesn’t meet criteria for involuntary commitment. This update was provided by a family friend.

Dear Pete.

We all said to ourselves ‘Wow, finally Justin is getting the care he needs, how sad that it took a car crash to finally get this man some help.


He was released and returned to the underpass where he sleeps.

Austin public officials and mental health authorities are now KNOWINGLY endangering the public. Justin already has caused a car accident, and it will happen again. He is not being treated. Austin drivers are in danger, and residents should be furious. Imagine your teenager behind the wheel. Imagine being the teenage driver who killed a 33 year old woman who walked into traffic in February 2018. Like Justin, she had many hospitalizations at Austin State Hospital (ASH) but was killed after ASH was forced to discharge her (again).

Who dropped the ball?

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