This month in April of 2022, the book club discussed a book called Fix What You Can, by Mindy Greiling. The memoir explored a mother and father going to battle for their son. In the book, there were topics of lack of help for the younger person living with a mental illness who hadn’t committed a crime and didn’t want help. There were also issues from medication changes to legal issues and drug use due to a mental illness.
Mindy Greiling was with us at the session. She discussed her writing process and what it took to write the story. She wrote about her son Jim in the book. Mindy said, “Writing is a release.” The story surrounds her son dealing with the struggles of having his life turned upside down from hearing voices and dealing with appointments, different medications and their side effects, and law enforcement. Mindy said, "its hard to get help for someone unless they are breaking the law or older." With her son, Jim, being young, it was hard to get him help.
In the book, Jim dealt with bad relationships, and it is common in the lives of people living with mental illnesses to be taken advantage of and being vulnerable. The media associates people with mental illnesses as perpetrators.
Members of the discussion discussed trials with mental illnesses and hospitals. One of the discussion participants identified with Jim and is going to have his mother read the book to help her deal with her isolation. Mindy discussed how her son was sent to mental illness court because he caused damage at a hospital. Mindy’s son was charged with damage at a hospital without his knowing it.
The final discussion topic was that of teenagers with mental illnesses getting the help that they need. A mother of a fifteen-year-old was in the group. He is on medication, which to her is bitter-sweet. Bitter, because he needs medication, but sweet because he may get used to asking for help when he isn’t living in the home anymore.
Please join us for the next NAMI Ramsey Book Club! Find more information at https://www.namiramseycounty.org/bookclub.html
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