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August 2014

The Dangers of Stage 4 Thinking about Serious Mental Illnesses

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO

During my first hundred days at Mental Health America, I have frequently made the case that mental health policymakers and practitioners are too often mired in “Stage 4” thinking when they think about serious mental illnesses.

Here’s what I mean – they use an “imminent danger to self or others” as a standard for determining who gets care.  That near-death time typically only comes during the latest stages of a chronic disease process, or Stage 4.

Remembering Robin Williams: His Life Should Continue to Inspire Us

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO

Robin Williams’ tragic and untimely death after a decades-long battle against bipolar disorder reminds us that mental illnesses are all-too-often serious and life-threatening chronic diseases. 

Mental illnesses—especially serious ones—rob us of our health and well-being.  They present daily challenges that can sometimes overwhelm us.  No one is immune to them.  And no matter how many resources they have or how successful they may appear to be, they may not ultimately be able to overcome them.

Ferguson is a Community in Distress, Not a Community at Unrest

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO of Mental Health America

By now, everyone has heard the news from Ferguson, Missouri. An unarmed 18 year old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. Michael Brown was black.

Until recently, Ferguson was a community best known for its proximity to St. Louis and its designation as a Playful City, USA.

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