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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism 2004-2005



Tom Davis
Columnist, The Record
Metuchen, N.J., USA
www.tom-davis.net
www.coping-with-life.com
TOPIC: Follow the progress of a New Jersey program designed to divert people from the prison system and find alternative help for people with mental illnesses

Drug-Free Treatment Promoter

David Oaks has a simple philosophy about life: If the mind isn't free, there's no freedom.

Mental Services: A Model

When Robert Correll's son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he promised to fight to find treatment for him.

A Crime, Penalty, and Illness

His crime was stalking Lauren Bush, the president's niece. His problem is that he suffers from bipolar disorder.

Codey's Legacy is Beckoning

As acting governor, Richard Codey changed the long-held belief that only crazy people care about mental health.

Hidden Wounds of the War

When Christian Lopez began his second tour of duty in Iraq, he was 'psyched.' Then came the dreams. In them, the Marine watched friends die. He dreamed that an IED blew off his leg. Eventually, he became too scared to sleep.

Mentally Ill get Prison, not Couch

Violet Popadich doesn't look at newspapers anymore - not after what they said about her son.
The "Midtown Madman," as the tabloids called him, killed a woman in Elmwood Park, then drove to Manhattan and plowed his car into crowds of pedestrians. One victim later died.

Coping with Life: War is Hell, but Suicide is Worse (link no longer available)
The Army is losing its battle to stem suicides among troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, with a recent report showing that 32 soldiers in one year killed themselves in the war zone, according to The Hartford Courant.

Coping with Life: Nine Years Later, There's still a Place to Turn (link no longer available)
Even nine years later, there are still places to go if you're a casualty of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Coping with Life: A Tough Time in a Tough Decade (link no longer available)
Few memories in my life could remain so vivid: Stepping off the PATH train, and walking what seemed like 20 blocks to the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers, and breathing in the burning smell of God-knows-what.

Coping with Life: 9/11 and Mental Health: A Link that will Live In Infamy (link no longer available)
Nearly 3,000 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. But the mind was one of the most significant, and lingering casualties.

Coping with Life: Having Bipolar Disorder is No Means to an End (link no longer available)
Stephen Puibello was diagnosed as being HIV positive and having bipolar disorder at the same time, in 1997.

Coping with Life: Something About John (link no longer available)
John Clear walked out of a jail two years ago, declared that he found religion and went home, to Point Pleasant, N.J., where he thought he could find a new life in an old place.

Coping with Life: Bringing Changes to Mind (link no longer available)
Glenn Close, in a film directed by Ron Howard, has marked the launch of the "Bring Change 2 Mind" campaign, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the toll of the stigma associated with mental illness in our communities.

Coping with Life: Days and Nights with the Bored (link no longer available)
Don Cardinali dug his fork into a heap of pasta that smothered his chicken and swirled the noodles into the puddle of tomato sauce on his plate. His eyes were a glazed white. His mouth opened wide for each bite, emitting an odor that smelled like a tube of glue.

Coping with Life: Britany may have a Mental Illness, but She's Only Human (link no longer available)
It's no wonder that Britney Spears' obituary has already been written. Anyone would struggle to survive with paparazzi preying on their every move, ready to pounce and pop flashbulbs that blind their eyes.

Coping with Life: Testing for Depression: Social Control or Social Necessity (link no longer available)

Coping with Life: a Family that survives is a Family that Inspires (link no longer available)
Recently, I've been reading book after book, trying to find one that parallels my own. When you embark on a project that documents your family's history of mental illness, finding a role model that deals with the ugly topic ain't easy.

Coping with Life: Keep your Holiday Cheer at this Time of Year (link no longer available)
The holidays are portrayed as a happy time of celebration. But it's not true for everyone - especially those who have mental illnesses, and even more so in today's economic climate.

Coping with Life: Heath ledger was Battling Drug Addiction, Depression and Paparazzi Before his Death (link no longer available)
Once again, the media vultures are swooping overhead over a fallen Hollywood figure. Unlike Britney Spears, however, this time they've captured their prey: Heath Ledger.

Coping with Life: New Year's Eve Can Bring out a Lot of Joy, or Create a Lot of Guilt (link no longer available)
Everyone feels guilty from time to time, but being consumed with compunction can suck the joy out of life. Here are simple strategies for relieving the pressure.

Heredity's Links to Disorders; A Mix of Factors, an Incomplete Picture (link no longer available)
By the time you read this, I'll be a father again.

Lessons of a Jetway Shooting; Family Must Step into Ensure Safety (link no longer available)
Rigoberto Alpizar was having a problem. And it was bad enough for him to want to get off a plane in Miami that was ready for takeoff.

Helpful Messages, No Jargon
Ira Minot likes this headline for his life story: "From the Depths of Despair to a Mission of Advocacy."

Feeling bruised by breakups (link no longer available)
Songwriters often equate the end of a relationship with pain and death.

Spreading the word on bipolar (link no longer available)
At Bipolar Magazine, having a mental health history is a good thing.

Pilot Program Shows PROMISE; It Starts with Housing for Parolees (link no longer available)
I hadn't heard from Don in eight months. But, whenever Don gets into trouble, he calls.

Blog Aids its Bipolar Author (link no longer available)
Liz Spikol writes a blog called The Trouble With Spikol. But, she says, it's not she who's the problem.

Killer Kept Emotions to Himself (link no longer available)
Sure, Tom Frazza of Washington Township and his boys were arguing. The boys also complained about their father and said they wanted to stay away from him

Yates Case Set a Standard (link no longer available)
The jury asked to see a picture of her five young children. They sat for 10 minutes - two minutes for each child - silently remembering the victims.

The Stiff Upper Lip: A Man's Condition and A Woman's Burden
It's a sight many of us are familiar with: a politician who has committed a misdeed, holding a press conference to explain his behavior. And who do we often see standing behind him during his moment of confession? His wife.

Bipolar and Not Ashamed (link no longer available)
Reading the e-mail over and over was necessary, just so I could better understand.

Fumbling through Depression; Football Player's Troubles were handled properly (link no longer available)
Many people know Terrell Owens as an outspoken football player and/or habitual troublemaker.

Taking Fanaticism too Far (link no longer available)
Now, after heartbreaking collapses, playoff losses and this season's roller-coaster ride, I'm still feeling empty, wondering what happened.

Prison is No Place for the Ill (link no longer available)
"Can I stop talking now?"

Schizophrenia Findings Disputed (link no longer available)
The message from the movie "A Beautiful Mind" was simple: When it comes to treating schizophrenia, one size doesn't fit all.

Raising Postpartum Depression Awareness (link no longer available)
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey, other advocates and health professionals are joining forces to push for the passage of Menendez's legislation that would increase the federal commitment to combating postpartum depression.

A Failure in Autism Treatment (link no longer available)
Frank Fiore, whose 17-year-old son is autistic, has heard how autism is a neuron-developmental disorder and not necessarily a mental illness. But the Montvale resident wants to know how to explain the depression often suffered by the afflicted

Honesty and Reassurance Key to Helping Kids Cope; Shocked Parents Get Aid in Guiding Teens through Grief (link no longer available)
Dozens of parents, many of them reeling from the suicide of a Glen Rock High School senior, gathered in the school's auditorium Thursday night seeking an answer to one question: "What do you say when your child asks why?"

Honored for Tsunami Relief; Mental Health Team from N.J. Aids Sri Lanka (link no longer available)
Debra Wentz, executive director of the New Jersey Mental Health Institute, was attending a wedding in Sri Lanka two years ago when the Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 280,000 people, hit. She missed being drawn in by the destructive waves by only minutes.

Stigmas of Mental Illness Remain, But There's Hope with Hollywood (link no longer available)
Five times he called her a "loon" or "lunatic." Each time, the peace activist reacted to Bill O'Reilly's name-calling with a shrug or smirk. But this encounter on "The O'Reilly Factor" raised the question: Who was more outrageous?

After Many Ups and Downs, Life nearing 40 is Peaceful (link no longer available)
At 21, while mired in eating disorders, I never thought I'd live to see 40 - or even 30. Now, just weeks from the milestone, I'm a little unprepared.

Glen Rock's Reminder; Preventing Suicide Involves Talking (link no longer available)
When a 17-year-old Glen Rock High School senior committed suicide last month, the mental health community was there, ready to help.

Bipolar Challenge: Decisions
A reader was concerned when her daughter, who has bipolar disorder, was making poor - even risky - social choices. Her concern was heightened when a psychologist warned that, without treatment, her daughter would continue to make these choices.

The Emotional Toll of Losing a Home (link no longer available)
Their burning homes turned into ash, melted steel and crumbling concrete. Their possessions, their memories and their lives went up in smoke as wildfires raged for weeks near San Diego.

Mental Illness, the Final Frontier
You may remember A Time to Kill, a 1996 movie from a John Grisham novel about a lawyer who took on a racist town. He defended a black man accused of murdering two white men after they raped his young daughter.

Bailing out the Financial Markets May Hinge on Mental Health Parity
Some say the Senate financial bailout bill is loaded with pork. But that may be the first time anybody's ever implied that ensuring "mental health parity" is pork.

Mental Health Advocate Tom Davis Publishes A Legacy of Madness (link no longer available)
Award winning columnist and mental health advocate Tom Davis has been writing about psychiatric issues for years. His first person accounts and interviews with those who have suffered from chronic mental illness are deeply moving and realistic.

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