(July 11, 2012) “The utter humanity of Jeneen Interlandi's story of a loving daughter seeking a path to health for her ill father, too sick to be able to do it himself, reinforces my own personal commitment as president of the Treatment Advocacy Center,” board member Stephen Segal wrote to the New York Times Magazine after its cover story on the emotional and legal hurdles to civil commitment (“Love and Commitment,” July 24).
“Is there any common sense at all to perpetuating public policies that make it so hard for families to get help for their loved ones, that increase the chances the ill person will get sicker, get hurt or hurt someone else, that divert police from fighting crime, that put the mentally ill in jails or let them deteriorate in the streets?” he asked in a letter to the editor. “The question is only more perplexing since tragedies can be prevented and health restored with treatment.”
Interlandi’s gripping account of the devastation of her own family when her father became manic and loved ones couldn’t get him into timely and effective treatment obviously touched a chord in many lives. Hundreds of people posted comments on the magazine’s website (scroll to story's end) or sent letters to the editor, many of our supporters among them.
To all those who spoke up like our board president to comment on the Times Magazine’s publication of this moving and eye-opening story – thank you. A feature with the depth and exposure of “Love and Commitment” is an amplifier that broadcasts a lifesaving message into corners where it may never before have been heard:
Mental illness is a disease. Treatment works. Everyone deserves treatment, especially those too ill to seek it for themselves.