On August 20th the Brattleboro Reformer published an article about the Brattleboro Retreat's Annual Ride For Heroes, a motorcycle rally and fundraiser for the hospital’s Uniformed Service Program. On that day, Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark did a courageous thing: he publicly shared his story of experiencing a major depression, his decision to seek treatment, and his consequent recovery. As I read his account I found myself saying: Thank you, many times.
Published in March of 2017, “No One Cares About Crazy People” seamlessly weaves together the analysis of society’s historically harsh treatment of the mentally ill with journalist Ron Powers’ own very personal story. In this Keep Talking episode, he shares what he has learned as the parent of two sons with schizophrenia, his convictions about medical compliance, and his compassion for those who suffer with a chronic mental illness.
The concept and practice of enabling is a powerful and complicated issue—one that comes up regularly in my work as a clinical psychologist at the Brattleboro Retreat. Enabling has parallel meanings. To enable can refer to our interactions that empower others to develop and evolve. It also includes those well intended or protective actions that unfortunately may contribute to perpetuating or aggravating another person’s problems.
Mindfulness has been gaining in recognition and popularity in the U.S. for the last two decades, and with good reason. A number of leaders in the mental health field have studied the usefulness of mindfulness in creating mental health and in treating mental illness. In fact, many of the evidence-based treatments (i.e., treatments that have been scientifically shown to be effective) used in the care of patients at the Brattleboro Retreat are centered on the practice of mindfulness. But did you know it’s a technique that can benefit just about anyone?
One in a hundred people develop schizophrenia, a mental illness suffered by approximately 3 million Americans. Yet the very word itself conjures sensational and inaccurate images and scenarios that have largely been created by the media, television, and the movies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a tragic new report showing suicide rates in the U.S. have risen to a 30-year high. While the rise was particularly sharp among women, the report also outlined increases in rates of suicide among nearly all races and age groups.
News of the death by suicide of Walter Cronkite's grandson, Peter, age 22, is another painful public reminder of the lethal potential of untreated mental illness. Cronkite took his own life over the weekend of April 25 in his dorm room at Colby College in Maine. He was just weeks away from graduation and was set to receive an award for excellence in his classics major.
The Brattleboro Retreat's Stand Up to Stigma campaign is about helping people understand what is true and what is not true about mental illness and addiction. We also want to encourage and empower people to shift attitudes--their own, and those of their family members, friends, co-workers, and community members.
Nutrition is an important part of recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, as substances drain essential nutrients and make it difficult for the brain to resume healthier functioning. The treatment of mental illness also requires the same attention because the roots of some conditions are bound up in poor nutrition.