1. Earley’s book outlines the fate of Mr. Boreman, a severely mentally ill person who the police tried to help by arresting for trespassing. While incarcerated Boreman punched a police officer. Dr. Poitier is quoted as saying, “The police officer who arrested him thought he was doing him a favor, now he’s facing a very serious felony charge. He’s a perfect example of why the mentally ill should not be put in jail. He needs help for his mental illness, and he won’t get it here.” (50) Thoughts on this?
2. In Chapter 4 Earley explains how Thorazine was called a “wonder drug” and made mental health professionals rethink the necessity of institutionalization. “With Thorazine now available, did the nation really need costly state mental hospitals?” (69) It seems that the mentally ill are viewed as a “drain” on society’s economic resources. Does this kind of thinking contribute to the stigmatization of mental illness?
3. Earley goes on to explain how deinstitutionalization turned out to be an “unplanned social disaster.” He tells us, “President Kennedy’s promise of $3 billion to create a safety net turned out to be a cruel lie. Congress turned its attention to other problems, primarily the Vietnam War and Watergate. In the coming years, mental health ended up going hungry when the federal pie was gobbled up.” (71) The result of this tragedy was that: “By the late 1980s, the mentally ill had started arriving in jails and prisons.” (71) It is my belief that we are still struggling with the aftermath of these unfortunate events. What do you think?
Submitted by Bonnie Akkerman I pledge…
1. Crazy was published in 2006, almost over a decade and a half ago. Based on Earley's observations on the limitations of mental health care and the involvement of the criminal justice system, would you consider this to still be a problem today?
2. There are an inordinate amount of people in need of mental health care that are pushed into prisons. Why do you think, even in today's world, the mentally ill tend to be likened to, say, the “criminally insane”? Why is this a stigma that is so hard for our society to overcome, especially since mental disorders are more and more common in everyday life?
Submitted by Lyndsey Clark. I pledge…
1.Pete Earley describes in the preface about the difficulties of parents and family members of those suffering from mental illness. With his phrase a line of trees or a forest being given to all the laws and other such things involved with treatment. Do you think since the release of this book back in 2007. That this line of trees has been thinned or has only grown thicker?
2. In regards to the standards of the law relating to the treatment and care of the Mentally Ill do you think they're limiting the time of commitment as wrong or something that needs to be reformed? Along with question I also would like to propose the question should it be legal for a insurance company to pressure hospitals to release patients prior to their being treated completely?
Parker Siebenschuh I pledge
1. From pages 24-25, Earley and one of the nurses talk about the law's interference with the treatment of mental illness. Do you think that the laws that are supposedly “for mental health” were created to even aid in the treatment of mental health in the first place? Why would they all of a sudden have specific laws in place for mental treatment, when over a decade ago, it was so easy to label someone as crazy?
2. Based upon the other cases of mental illness treatments that we have learned about over the course of the semester, could you perhaps compare Mike's story to one of them?
Submitted by Erica Banks. I pledge.
1. Do you think that pharmaceutical companies should have the control that they have on mental healthcare in the 21st Century?
2. Who do you think is worse for mental healthcare: the federal and state laws, or the insurance companies?
3. What are your thoughts on the use of HIPPA in the courtroom?
Submitted by Audrey Schroeder. I pledge…
1. Renee Turolla revealed in her investigation that judges in Florida were unaware that psychiatrists handling mentally ill defendants were not required by law to treat them, but simply to coach them about the purpose of a trial (75-76). The psychiatrist Turolla talked to seems to be aware of this ignorance, so why didn’t anybody explain to the judges what the psychiatrist actually do with mentally ill defendants? Apathy? Cynicism?
2. Earley makes a point that “all the civil rights protections that the Mental Health Law Project pushed through” were done before the federal government recognized that mental illness is caused “by a chemical imbalance in the brain” (159). Meaning mental illness “is not a choice,” but a defect of the brain. He argues therefore that civil rights activists reasoning for allowing mentally ill people to run around in the streets because it’s their “choice” is flawed reasoning. What do you think?
Submitted by Chris O'Neill
1. What was the initial intent of Dr. Birnbaum's theory and how did it get misconstrued?
2. What are some of the differences in the ways that Judy Robinson and Rachel Diaz operated NAMI? Who do you think was more effective with providing support to the families of the mentally ill?
Submitted by Allison Love (I pledge…)
1. When Earley asked Judge Leifman why he focuses on mental health when many of the people he helps can vote made me wonder if that could be why the system is not suited for mentally ill people. Do you think that if those who are mentally ill and convicted of a crime were still able to vote, the system would be better? Or would it have no impact. 2. Do you agree with Dr. Potier's statement that asylums are going backwards? Do you think that all of the patient advocacy and policy changes have actually had an adverse affect?
Submitted by Mallory Karnei (I pledge…)