Mental Health Advocates Push Police for More Crisis Intervention Training

UPTOWN — Becky Brasfield, a 36-year-old Englewood woman, said she was dispirited by a rocky post-grad job search and trapped in the throes of a psychotic episode about four years ago when she emailed death threats to a former employer.

"I was having delusions that this woman was going to hurt someone I knew," Brasfield said. "And I threatened to kill her unless she stopped."

That led to her arrest in November 2010 and five-month stay in the Cook County Jail. She remembers being in the midst of psychosis throughout her trial, at the end of which she pled guilty to felony harassment and was freed on probation without getting treatment.

Treatment finally came a month after a suicide attempt landed her in a hospital psych ward. That's when she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a serious mental illness in which schizophrenia's hallucinations and delusions intersect with bipolar disorder's mania and depression.

Story continues here >>>

Family-to-Family beings Oct. 7

NAMI’s acclaimed Family-to-Family class will be offered in Asheville 6:00 - 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and 10:00 am – 12:30 pm on Saturdays from October 7 to November 15, 2014. Instructors will include Dr. Jim and Sharon Pitts, retired educators, who will teach the Saturday afternoon session of the class that is free to family members and caregivers of adults living with a severe mental illness. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Family-to-Family includes up to date information about medications, communication techniques, handling crises, problem-solving skills, recovery, accessing community support, advocacy, and self-care around worry and stress.

Those who attend F2F gain vital information, insight and understanding of their loved one that many call “life-changing.”Complete details here.