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.