Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dangerous Criteria

One of the big stories from 2007 in Mental illness revolved around “dangerous criteria,” that is, whether or not to require that individuals be dangerous before treating them for mental illness.

That criterion is meant to protect the public while protecting an individual’s liberty, a fundamental freedom. In the field of mental health, we’re always quick to point out that statistically, individuals with mental illness are far more likely to be a victim of violence, rather than the perpetrator. But it is also statistically true that up to 40% of mass-shootings have been by people with psychiatric disorders.

Is someone undergoing a significant psychotic episode capable of declining treatment? CPR classes don’t cover debating whether a passed out person is dangerous before treatment can be administered.

The argument then against dangerous criteria is that schizophrenia can lead to violence (rarely mass-shootings—but tragically far more often—suicide of the individual with the illness). Also, a recent study by Matthew Large states that in jurisdictions that demand dangerous-based criteria for intervention, individuals who suffer with mental illness go an average of five additional months with no treatment at all (worsening the illness of the individual and despair of the family).

The eventual answer will lie somewhere in a more sophisticated understanding of the cognitive disruptions and irrationality brought on by psychiatric illness—understanding the process and the familiar signs of the illness, followed by the compassion to provide immediate and appropriate treatment.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Honorary Gift

Honor a friend or loved one this holiday season with an exclusive gift to Caramore Community. With your gift, your honoree will receive a card from Caramore in your name expressing your appreciation.

If you prefer to mail in a check to Caramore, simply designate the person whom you are honoring, and their address.

If to make the gift on-line, send me, David Cooley (, a separate email informing me that you are making an honorary gift including your friend or loved one's name and address.

As always, thank you, and have a great holiday from everyone at Caramore!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reginald Green

I’m Free

Don’t grieve for me now, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me,
I took His hand when I heard His call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Do not be burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.

Give your heart and peace to thee—
God wanted me now, He set me free!

Reginald Green—a Caramore family member—passed peacefully in November. Reginald’s humorous and good-natured personality made Caramore a more cheerful place, and it’s not the same around here without him.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Beth Kurtz

Yesterday Caramore said goodbye to our friend Beth Kurtz in a memorial service in Chapel Hill. Beth died suddenly on November 11, 2007 leaving us confused and grieving.

The service acknowledged and eulogized how deeply Beth suffered from her mental illness, but how she had—through it all—persevered, had some success, and had done the best that she could.

Beth will be remembered at Caramore for her stoic endurance against mental illness, and she’ll be dearly missed by her friends.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Blake's Story

Blake, at the head of the table, captivating the audience

Blake Daughtry, a former Caramore client and now employee and Peer, spoke to a NAMI Family-to-Family Program last night.

Blake offered a very personal and experienced account of the potential for recovery.

Blake first experienced symptoms in 2002. Neither he nor his family knew what to make of his bizarre and erratic behavior which culminated in drugs, rehab, jail, and suicide attempts.

In January of 2006 he entered Cherry Hospital and stayed for 8 months. During this period he eventually came to a place where he realized he was hearing voices and that he was sick—he was open to receiving help. Eventually his medication was perfected and he gained some mental stability. He worked on controlling himself and his thoughts—learning to understand the new mental processes that the illness brought and how to function with it.

From the hospital he was released to Caramore which offered him more time to continue his rehabilitation in a structured environment committed to seeing him get better.

Blake credits Caramore with furthering his own goals—attaining friends, an apartment, a job (working at Caramore), educating others on recovery, and starting college classes.

Blake’s message was simple—admit that you need some help from others, take your meds, and pursue your goals, because there’s no reason you can’t achieve them.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Testimonial from an Employer of Caramore Clients

Michael Malek, Carol Woods Retirement Community dining services manager, compliments Caramore for its record with workers with disabilities.

"The presence of Caramore's workers has lent a significant dimension to the Carol Woods community. Caramore has high expectations, just like we have of our own staff. Caramore's values—courtesy, respect, dignity, self-determination—are closely aligned with ours. Ted McCreary and Barry Shanley are phenomenally gifted. With tough love, hands on counseling and unusual acumen, they encourage (client’s) reliability and desire to learn."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tonight’s Client Celebration

Thanks Paul E. Jones for the inspirational night and thanks to all of you who came out tonight and made this such a memorable appreciation for the achievements our clients have made this year!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Caramore’s 2007 Annual Client Celebration

Carmore’s 2007 Annual Client Celebration features Paul E. Jones, also know as "Bipolar Boy," a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of Living with Mental Illness.

He's an author, speaker, and has been a stand up comic for over 17 years.

Over the past 4 years he has helped thousands learn to deal with their Bipolar Illness and has been called upon by some of America’s Business Leaders and Entertainers to help them better understand what it takes to move forward.

Join us as we listen to Paul E. Jones and celebrate the many accomplishments our clients have made over the past year.

7:00 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Chapel Hill Bible Church
260 Erwin Road
Chapel Hill, NC

Cake and punch reception. Free admission.
We hope to see you there. Please call us with any questions about the event at 919-967-3402.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Long Island Sensibility

Over the past 10 months, the face of Caramore has changed enormously. The Caramore offices, housed in the newly dedicated Jack Simonds Center, have received a burst of energy and renewal in the form of fresh colors, carpeting, furnishings and artwork.

The igniting spark can be attributed mainly to the vision and efforts of Long Island native Sue Curtis. Suzi selflessly donated her design and artistic expertise towards giving Caramore a new look that would be warmer, friendlier, and more reflective of the relationship-building efforts that Caramore has established with their clients and the whole community.

Suzi's creative vision for Caramore, as a model environment for the rehabilitative and relationship-building work that we do, has been immediately accepted. The new Caramore is a place that promotes wellness, social integration, and success for all who enter. It is also a vibrant and comfortable environment that encourages growth and creative interaction for all.

Many thanks to Suzi for her infusion of energy and for setting a new standard for a proper rehabilitative environment for dealing with mental illness.

Thanks Suzi!

B. Shanley

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Caramore, at the Jack Simonds Center

Thanks to everyone who made our building dedication yesterday a success. From now on our building will be known as The Jack Simonds Center. We’ll be forging on ahead, following Jack’s vision to better the lives of those who suffer from mental illness. Thank you Jack Simonds.

Jack’s speech at the dedication.