START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
May 26, 2009
It is very sad that this precious life is gone - cut short so early.  See the family together in the photo below.

Loss of loved ones is an emotional burden that pushes some people into PTSD.  Grief also drives some people into depression.  It helps to have friends to talk to at times like that.  Other people need professional help.  Visit AIMI to share information on such experiences:

Very sad about the baby.  Mike's life is riddled with trouble, it seems.  Bless the family, Lord.


Loss is a part of life, and all adults recognize that.  However, that does not stop the pain.  One of the members of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill lost her young son, and her grief was such that she was emotionally overwhelmed for some time.  One of our newest members was a victim of police brutality, and she developed a case of PTSD.  Another member was a victim of molestation during her childhood.  Many AIMI members have no mental health issues, but they are very concerned about human rights for sick people.  The number of people who are cognizant of the need to support mentally ill people and their families has increased significantly.  Emotional and psychiatric problems are so common that almost every family has a close member who struggles with mental illness, whether mild or acute.  Sometimes, people have undiagnosed dysfunctions that lead to behavioral problems, anger management issues, and addictions.

One in five Americans is said to have some form of mental illness.  Some have worse cases than others.  I worked with a woman whose mother had to drive her to work every day and walk with her through the building lobby and take the elevator with her to the 14th floor.  She had a phobia that made her afraid of wide open spaces, and our lobby was a big, lovely space of marble and glass.  Once she got to her desk, she was fine and her mom was free to go.

Some people have more than a simple phobia or depression caused by grief that they eventually overcome.  There are many people with acute mental problems that prohibit them from understanding and/or exhibiting self-control over their actions when they are not professionally treated.   Allowances should be made for acute psychiatric patients.  They should not be held to the same legal standards as the rest of the population.  Yet Andre Thomas is an acute mentally ill man on death row in Texas, and he is EATING HIMSELF!  He already ate both his eyes.  See his picture here:

No Execution for Mental Patient Andre Thomas  

Sometimes biological influences cause mental illness.  For instance, exposing an unborn child or an infant to the bacteria in cat litter has been identified as a possible cause of schizophrenia in the child in later life. 

Grief is caused by other losses - not just the death of a child or other loved one.  Some people suffer undue stress when they lose their jobs and suffer personal financial crisis, experience rejection by a lover or spouse, and undergo traumatic experiences such as seeing one's comrades die in war.

Our sympathy goes out to Mike Tyson and his family.  Hopefully, both of Exodus Tyson's parents and other family members will be able to work through their grief over the loss of their precious little one and recover, cherishing forever fond memories of her time with them.  But if grief counseling or more intense therapy is needed to cope with their loss, they should not be afraid or too embarrassed to ask for help.  Neither should anyone.  Unfortunately, however, many people who are grief-strcken or otherwise over their heads emotionally turn to alcohol or illegal drug usage rather than to professional help.  They account for many of those who are in prison today - non-violent offenders who tried to self-medicate and became addicted to drugs or alcohol.  Prison does not eliminate their mental anguish, in fact, the opposite effect is more likely.  That is one reason why so many people return to prison repeatedly.

It is time to end the stigma attached to mental illness in America.  Research shows African Americans are more likely than other groups  to feel stigmatized by mental illness.  The article below carries an important video and a HealthTalk interview with
William B. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine.  Mary Neal was invited to participate in bringing the show by supplying some of the questions that Dr. Lawson answered during his interview.  Please listen as Dr. Lawson answers questions posed by mental health experts and African-American community leaders as they examine how to promote change, and use the link to the article for the videos and more information.

African-Americans and the Stigma of Mental Illness
Listen to the replay

Enforced Treatment v. Prison for Acute Mental Patients


QUESTION:    When people do become mentally ill due to PTSD and depression caused by grief and they do not recognize that they have become psychotic, should their family members or some person in a position of responsibility be allowed to enforce mental health evaluation and treatment for the individual BEFORE mental illness is verified by a smoking gun or dripping knife or the body of a Tasered citizen lying on the ground at the feet of a police officer

WHAT ABOUT SGT. RUSSEL?   Sgt. John Russel was charged with murder after a PTSD episode in a Baghdad stress clinic.  He went there for help but behaved erratically and was escorted AWAY
from the only help on base under armed guard.  It was Sgt. Russel's THIRD consecutive deployment to Iraq, and he broke under stress. 

If you agree the charges against Sgt. Russel should be dropped, please sign this petition.  He should not be dishonorably discharged and imprisoned or executed because he lost his mental health serving his country.

SGT. RUSSEL REQURIES LONG-TERM HOSPITALIZATION AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS A WOUNDED SOLDIER.  Your signature may influence the Army to handle the next soldier who suffers a mental meltdown differently and not allow soldiers in crisis to reject treatment.  It could save lives. 

"They broke him," said his father, Wilburn Russel, weaping.


Many times, we could prevent tragedies by acting sooner to encourage loved ones or friends to seek help.  If they will not, then laws should be relaxed to allow intervention without permission.  What do you think?  Comment below, or visit us at the link below.  We would love to have you join us in our quest to give  ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED METNALLY ILL.

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

Bridge to Springtime   Help destroy the stigma attached to mental illness and barriers to treatment.  Many people can be restored to wholesome living with Kendra's Law, which is more affordable than hospitalization and more humane than incarceration, prison, and death. 


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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