There is no one solution to the horrors presented in the Callous and Cruel report, but the prescription includes getting people living with mental illness the right help in their communities before the criminal justice system ever gets involved. It includes providing the right kind of treatment and supports in jails or prisons.
One of the most important things is understanding the difference between mental illness and wellness. The more we talk about mental health the way we talk about physical health, the more we can decrease the stigma and shame that often impedes those in our communities from getting the help that they need. Please share your stories, join the discussion and stay tuned!
In May each year we celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Month. I say "celebrate" because we all need to rejoice in a child's mental health. We also need to be aware that no individual or family is untouched by mental illness. Despite ongoing and pervasive stigma, the facts speak for themselves.