VC Lyceum Lecture Series features mental health advocate Pete Earley

Victoria College welcomes Pete Earley, the second speaker in the Lyceum Lecture Series, on Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the VC Fine Arts Auditorium. VC has partnered with the Gulf Bend Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center to bring Earley to Victoria in an effort to help raise awareness of mental health issues in the community.

In the early 1980s, when writer/journalist Pete Earley was working at The Washington Post, his son—later diagnosed with both schizo-affective and bipolar disorders—experienced his first psychotic break. Just as his son was beginning college and looking toward a bright future, he found himself struggling to deal with a debilitating mental illness.

Earley discovered that, unlike physical illness, mental illness comes with tremendous stigma and severe limitations in regard to diagnosis and treatment. He found himself nearly powerless to help his son and, using this frustration, found a way to use his talent and connections to shed harsh light on the state of mental health care in the United States.

His book, “Crazy: A Father’s Search through America’s Mental Health Madness,” was published in 2006 and details the incredible obstacles he had to overcome in seeking the appropriate treatment for his son.

During his investigative journey to uncover the history and current status of America’s mental health care, Earley discovered that tens of thousands of mentally ill people are incarcerated in this nation’s prisons. In addition to telling his son’s story, he chronicles the shocking and heart-wrenching stories of a number of mentally ill inmates he came to know during his research inside the Miami-Dade County Jail.

Tuesday, Earley will share what he learned about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness along with the importance of decriminalizing and overcoming the stigma of mental illness.

If you go:

Who: Pete Earley
What: Lyceum Lecture Series
Where: VC Fine Arts Auditorium
When: Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

by Katy Long, posted Thursday, November 11, 2010

Published: Friday, 12 November 2010

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