BRAVO: Speaking Out About Mental Illness!

A regular reader of this blog, Laura Pogliano, appeared on national television last week with her son, Zac, talking about stigma and mental illness.  This short news clip is well worth watching!

In an email about the clipping, Laura told me:  “The cutting room floor has the best stuff: Zac’s statements on working on his health, his enjoyment of life & and my personal fave: ‘I’m a moral person. Bad people do bad things. Greed is a huge problem. Greedy people do more bad things than mentally ill people do…’ (I love that!) ”

 Bravo to both of you!

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.


  1. Zaccaria really feels he has too many positives going on to focus on “embarrassing” stigma, but that is not the norm. He struggled with substance abuse early in the onset, which is the norm, and he did not relay the information that he was hearing voices until after his THIRD hospitalization, which is very telling regarding how pervasive stigma is: No one had to tell him to hide that important fact, even from his mother. He had a celebratory cigar after watching the piece, and then in his typical humble, matter of fact manner, moved on from his 15 minutes. I asked, Want to watch it again? He replied, No thanks, I’m all good. Thank you, though.
    Dr. LaPook made an excellent point: That people with severe mental illness have many wonderful qualities. We tend to view them as reduced and one-dimensional. Not so, as I hope my lovely son’s story shows your readers. I hope it helps put a human face on a complicated issue, and that your readers take hope: My stance is that, if we had even barely reasonable laws in place for treating mental illness, instead of punative and detrimental laws, and the funding to do so, everyone could have his chance at recovering. Mental illness is not currently curable, but it’s not unbeatable in many ways.
    Finally, I think Zac’s poignant statement at the end demonstrates clearly what Sigmund Freud said 100 years ago: The mentally ill want what all men want: To Work, and To Love. Thank you for including my son in your post, Mr. Earley. You have my gratitude. Laura Pogliano

  2. Thank u Pete!!!