This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Illness

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You’ve seen it in the news whether on tv, newspapers, social media on people living with mental illness are treated before, during, and after (sometimes reported) incarceration. Perhaps you are familiar with these names:

Charlenna Lyles

Joseph Mann

Kelly Thomas

Michelle Cusseaux

Reginald Murray

David Montalbelo

Antwon Banks

These are a but a few names of those with mental illness that have been mistreatment by  the police,  the judicial system, and prison system . When I’m saying this please don’t think that inmates living without mental illness are not worth being treated as people too, for they too should be treated fairly as human beings especially in spite of their socioeconomic status.

Brave New Films, completed a short documentary film titled, “This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health”. This three part series tells the maltreatment of individuals with mental illness “Before”, “During”, and “After” imprisonment.   The video also talks about the lives of three individuals Rebecca Brasfield, Herb Cobbs, and Stacy Hamilton and their experiences with the police, judicial and prison system. And then you have a mother by the name of Tama Bell who tells about the horrific experiences, her son, Masai, experienced in jail.

I personally enjoyed the film and the rawness of the stories of those living with mental illness and their experiences especially in the prison system. Unfortunately as you might probably  know, in the U.S., all the prison systems do here is make profit on those in jail and even after they their time, they are unprepared for the new life that awaits them that is often met with impoverished living. I wish I could say they were just solely made for people to serve their time….but it’s not. Inmates must be shown humanity and inmates with mental illness should be living in a mental health hospital. These injustices must stop.

To view the film, click on the link below:

This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health

For further resources on the maltreatment of individuals living with mental illness, click on the link below:

Half of People Killed By Police Have a Disability: Report

Madness

The Treatment of Persons With Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: An Untimely Report

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals

 

 

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It’s Not Your Journey

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“It’s Not Your Journey” chronicles a 2 year period the where, author, Rebecca Lombardo, discusses her bouts with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and recovery from a suicide attempt, while overcoming the loss of her brother and mother. Mrs. Lombardo’s book sheds light on what living with mental illness actually looks like in contrast to the negative depictions seen on mass media. And while yes, there are descriptions on the symptoms of mental health disorders, like for example, depression (e.g.  anger or irritability, concentration programs, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness), through her experiences you “see” what that looks like day to day.

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Author Rebecca Lombardo

Her novel provides, in addition, encouragement to her readers keep on pursing their dreams and goals despite living with mental illness. I, myself, who struggle with mental illness have been inspired to stay strong and be best self, no matter what situation or person is against me…even if it’s my own mental illness. I highly recommend to book to anyone who lives or doesn’t live with a mental health disorder. It’s sure to make laugh, cry, and empower you and/or those with/without mental illness. I highly recommend you read it!

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review

You can also check out her website at:

RebeccaLombardo.com

#In Your Corner

Individuals who have a loved one with mental illness can get frustrated dealing with something they don’t understand, especially on a health issue that is highly stigmatized. But even if that’s not the issue, the thing is where can they start? Simple. You treat a person with mental illness the same way you would treat anyone…check up on them with a text or a call, hang out with them, encourage them, don’t judge them… Although, I have experienced little of these things in my life, they place a big sense of relief and peace. Neither I or the other person is not focused on my health, but on the time we have together and what we mean to one another and ourselves.

Although this campaign is done in the U.K., the “#In Your Corner” is a campaign done by the organization “Time to Change.” You may have seen their photos and quotes on my blog, but it’s because I love the campaigns they do throughout the year to decrease stigma against mental illness and to increase the awareness of mental health. Yeah, it’s the in U.K. but the issues on mental health they are fighting there are the same issues being fought everywhere.  The pictures are but one of many that encourage comradery between individuals and their loved one living with mental illness and how the both of them have been fighting mental illness together.

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