Thursday, December 11, 2008

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder: Penetrating the isolation of mental illness

Reaching those who need help requires dispelling old prejudices

Like a lot of kids, Ramon gave his folks trouble. And like any earnest parent, Lanice Palmer-Cole tried various methods to rein him in. She thought she knew her son well, although he was “different.” Palmer-Cole says, “He was a deep, deep thinker.” She felt hopeful that her son would grow up to be a productive member of society.

But then a significant thing happened to this Detroit family and “Ramon lost his mind,” Palmer-Cole tells us in a confessional voice, speaking for the first time in public as she narrates the story of her mentally ill son.

Last Thursday evening, December 4, while most people were hunkered down in their homes, a couple dozen concerned citizens braved the bitter cold to gather at United Church of God and Christ in St. Paul. They came to hear the stories of those grappling with mental illness and to network with one another as webs were woven in an effort to catch those individuals, especially those within communities of color, who too often fall through the cracks.

Read the full article ....

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