Sunday, January 27, 2008
Several months ago, Pete Earley, the former Washington Post reporter and author, came to speak at a Depression Bipolar Support Alliance-Northern Virginia event at the Sully District Government Center in Chantilly, Va. Pete spoke about his book "Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness." Pete's book is about his son, who had to be hospitalized several times and eventually had a run-in with the law. Pete also examined areas where the mental health and criminal justice systems collide across America. In a tragic twist, one of the Fairfax County, Va. police detectives, Vicky Armel, who helped his son when he ran into trouble was killed by a mentally ill gunman several months before the talk in the parking lot of the same building. Pete and I had a chance to speak after the meeting, and one of the topics was about the support groups. I'm happy to say that his son has joined and become an active member in of one of the groups. His insight has helped us all, and I can certaintly personally relate to someone who has had their story with bipolar make splashy headlines. We could create our own support group for people in support groups.