Monday, September 19, 2011

Mental Illness and Your Town by Larry Hayes

Mental Illness and Your Town:  37 Ways for Communities to Help and Heal.

This easy-to-read book has been written as a blueprint for community action from award-winning journalist, Larry Hayes.

In this book you wil learn how each person can play a role to help those who suffer; you will hear stories of people who overcame their disabilities; discover how each of us can work together to create a "treatment revolution" that will help to save lives and it will open your heart and your mind in order to work towards a positive community goal.

There are six sections in the book with up to seven chapters to each section.  Each section is backed by data, references, first-hand accounts as well as, ideas and solutions.

The Faces:  This section describes the different type of people who may suffer from mental health, the problem areas and how to help reduce the numbers.

The Helpers:  This section describes the different ways in which people can help.  How one can gather the information they need to meet the community and in which ways it can be shared.

The Personal:  This includes concepts to begin discussing the subject of mental health, how you can empower someone with a mental stigma and the pertinent information of each person's disclosure.

The Recruiters:  How you can reach out to the community for help, for guidance and to share information.  It encourages you not to be shy in your approach, enlist anyone who has the heart to listen and utilize your community events to help bring recognition to mental health issues.

The Innovations:  Discusses ways in which you can launch new programs in your community.

The Reforms:  There are programs already in place but some of them need some "tuning" in order to work with the individual within the community.  With proper training and information, each person who reaches out for the attention they require, will have the proper response if everyone is on the same page.

You will also find reference books you can enlist in your research as well as internet resources. 

I found this book to have some great merits about it, however, I didn't glean any information from it that would push me to go out and incorporate what I learned.  It seemed that just as an idea was being formed, the author pushed off to another topic, leaving me wanting.  I thought it was very easy-to-read and written with out pretense, talking to you and not at you as most of these self-help books do.

I liked the relaxed way in which the ideas are shared as well, some of the approaches suggested were easy to understand, written clearly and concisely.  There were a few instances in which it seemed like the author was basing his information on one community only, as in the chapter about "observing celebrations", it is mentioned that you would not find a float in a parade concerning mental health and I have to disagree with that statement.  My community is always involved with mental health awareness, we have 90% of the ideas shared within this book and still, it is quite a concern.  My underlying thoughts believe it has to do with management and the lack thereof.  I believe the chapter on The Reforms was the best chapter in the book and I would have liked to have seen more ideas given.


** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **