Posts by Rehinge

Paton at the SVN Annual Conference

June 1st, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Speaking Events 0 thoughts on “Paton at the SVN Annual Conference”

June 1st, 2015

Last week, Paton spoke at the Supervised Visitation Network Conference. Paton was featured as a plenary speaker as well as leading a workshop that addressed how trauma, mental health, and substance abuse impact our work in supervised visitation. His workshop focused on how to best serve the unique needs of these families and offer innovative approaches to enhancing our services for all participants.

Paton also discussed his work with Rehinge, while also sharing his own story and experience with bipolar type I. Paton’s speech will focused on the stigma and issues that surround mental health, and his own custody battle and experiences with supervised visitation, while also discussing treatments and options that aid in living a healthy and happy life with mental illness.

Many thanks to the Supervised Visitation Network for inviting Paton to speak during their conference! If you’d be interested in having Paton speaking for your conference or event, please visit this page.

paton-at-svn-con

Below is his presentation that he will be using during his speech at the conference. View and download it below:

Download SVN Annual Conference Presentation

It’s Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough

May 22nd, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media 1 thought on “It’s Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough”

May 22nd, 2015

The Huffington Post has published a piece on the cruelty and injustice in US prisons towards inmates with mental illnesses. Paton is featured in the article where he talks about his experiences with the justice system and prisons as a person with bipolar. The article and Paton also takes the time to talk about CIT training and how it can help aid law enforcement when dealing with mentally ill individuals.

You can read the full article on the Huffington Post website.

Human Rights Watch has released a report, Callous and Cruel, on the “unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force” used in jails and prison to control inmates with mental illness. It’s an issue that NAMI has long been concerned with, except that it’s more than an issue or a concern.

It’s an outrage that should shock the conscience of America and we need your help to change it.

People unfortunately often end up in jail or prison when they don’t get effective treatment for mental illness. In another report this year, Incarceration’s Front Door, the Vera Institute of Justice found that more than two million people with mental illness are booked into county jails alone, but as many as 80 percent don’t get treatment after they arrive.

Better outcomes include recovery and wellness.. NAMI South Carolina leader Paton Blough’s story serves as inspiration. At the age of 26, he was jailed after onset of a manic episode. Over three years he was arrested six times and every time, he was convinced police intended to murder him. He received two felony convictions for actions while incarcerated — spitting on a guard and threatening a public official. Financially he was ruined. He lost his home in foreclosure, his marriage and contact with his children.

As part of recovery, Paton had to overcome the stigma he himself internalized. His actions weren’t a reflection of bad character, but instead medical illness. Today, he helps train police officers for CIT programs.

Paton’s most dramatic moment in recovery came when 30 police officers applauded him after his first presentation–including one who previously had arrested him.

You can read the full article on the Huffington Post website.

NPR Radio Interview with Paton

May 21st, 2015 Posted by Audio, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “NPR Radio Interview with Paton”

May 21st, 2015

Paton had a great opportunity to have an interview with Steve Walsh the NPR radio station, Lakeshore Public Radio in Indiana. Paton was able to discuss the issue of mentally ill individuals in prisons and solutions for it; along with the value of CIT training and other issues.

Al Jazeera Interview with Paton Blough

May 21st, 2015 Posted by Media, Published Media, Video 0 thoughts on “Al Jazeera Interview with Paton Blough”

Al Jeezera International interviewed Paton about his experiences as a person with mental illness in jail. Watch the interview now.

House Gives Key Approval to Mental Health Courts Bill

May 13th, 2015 Posted by Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media 0 thoughts on “House Gives Key Approval to Mental Health Courts Bill”

May 13th, 2015

Tim Smith wrote a nice piece in the Greenville News this morning about the SC House passing bill S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act. This is an exciting victory in South Carolina, and we hope to see many more in the coming months and years!

Read the full article in the Greenville News

The House gave key approval Tuesday to a bill to expand the state’s mental health courts.

The 98-2 vote came after no debate.

After a final reading, the bill will head to Gov. Nikki Haley.

Mental health courts divert mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system and into treatment programs, much as drug courts do for drug offenders.

Currently, three mental health courts operate in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. Grants for their operation ran out years ago but they have continued to operate, officials say. Two other courts have closed in recent years due to lack of funding.

“It’s nice to see both bodies working together for the greater good of our state,” said Paton Blough, a Greenville mental health advocate who proposed the bill last year [….] “Hopefully, this is the beginning of years of mental health reform to come.”

Blough and other supporters for the bill, including Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat who authored the bill, have argued the legislation would save lives and taxpayers’ dollars.

Sheheen’s bill doesn’t include funding but he has said he hopes to eventually find money in the budget to assist the courts.

Read the full article in the Greenville News

S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act Passes the SC House!

May 12th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Media 0 thoughts on “S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act Passes the SC House!”

May 12th, 2015

Exciting news today as the Mental Health Court Program Act has passed the SC House! Today, bill S.426 received a second reading in the SC House of Representatives, and will move on to a third reading before being presented to Governor Nikki Haley to be signed into law! The Mental Health Court Program Act will work towards all 46 counties in South Carolina having a mental health court program, which will help save the lives of mentally ill individuals who by providing a system that diverts mentally ill offenders to appropriate treatment programs instead of jails.

This is a huge step forward for mental health reform in our state. Paton and Rehinge have been working hard towards getting this bill passed, and your efforts of contacting your local legislature politicians has been invaluable as well! We’re looking forward to this bill being signed into law soon!

Quote from SC Representative Dan Hamilton

The SC House just passed S.426 which provides a system to divert mentally ill offenders to appropriate treatment rather than incarceration. Kudos to Paton Blough for his effective citizen-lobbyist effort to get this bill passed. It now goes to the Governor.

Quote from SC Senator Vincent Sheheen

Our Mental Health Court Bill just passed the House of Representatives! This will help the mentally ill get the treatment they need while saving our costs of incarceration. So thankful for all the bipartisan support. Special thanks to Paton Blough for his spark and commitment to this bill.

Man Vows to Climb Every Day Until Mental Health Bill Passes

May 9th, 2015 Posted by Media 0 thoughts on “Man Vows to Climb Every Day Until Mental Health Bill Passes”

The Washington Times have written an article about Paton hiking on Table Rock.

Read the full article in the Washington Times

Paton Blough has first-hand experience with mental health court.

After he landed in jail during a bipolar episode, he went through the program, which channels mentally ill offenders into treatment instead of the criminal justice system.

Now the 38-year-old Greenville man has vowed to climb Table Rock every day until a bill that establishes a statewide mental health court program is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor.

“If I hadn’t gone to mental health court,” he told The Greenville News, “I could be a prisoner today – or dead.”

The bill, S.426, passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0 last month. It was sent to the House on March 31.

Blough said his climb each morning is symbolic of the struggle that people with mental illness face. But it’s worth the effort, he said, because it will save lives.

Mental health court intervenes so that people with a brain illness are rehabilitated instead of punished, he said.

“If somebody had a seizure and killed somebody because they passed out in a car, we don’t think they should be put in prison, but given help,” he said. “If someone is put in prison for two, three or five years, they are more screwed up when they come out.”

Judge Debora Faulkner of Greenville County Probate Court said mental health court is successful because it costs far less than imprisoning someone and it turns their lives around. Since it began, it has accepted 84 participants, she said, and 55 have graduated. There are now eight active participants.

“It’s a way to not only be prudent with tax dollars, but to get people the help that they need and out of that revolving door,” she said. “Those individuals are no longer in the criminal justice system. They are productive members of society.”

Mental health courts operate in Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. Greenville’s began with a grant in 2005, Faulkner said. But for years it’s been operating without any funding because officials believe so much in it.

Paton in DC – Stepping Up for Mental Health

May 6th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media, Speaking Events, Video 0 thoughts on “Paton in DC – Stepping Up for Mental Health”

Paton Blough delivered a wonderful speech about his life with mental illness, his recovery and his advocacy efforts at the Stepping Up initiative in Washington DC. Paton had the honor of speaking along with Representative Patrick Kennedy and Senator Al Franken. Rep Kennedy, the head of the Kennedy Forum–an organization working toward lasting change in the way mental health and addictions are treated in our healthcare system. Following are some highlights from Paton’s speech

 

paton-kennedy-dc

What is Stepping Up?

Stepping Up is a national initiative designed to push counties nationwide to work on access to mental health treatment and alternatives to jail for people with mental illnesses. NAMI is working with a powerful coalition of national organizations, including the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Foundation and numerous law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse organizations. The initiative will challenge county, state and local leaders to work together to find solutions that work for the local community. Counties will be asked to follow a step-by-step process to build partnerships, assess current practices and develop a plan to implement research-based programs and services. It will also support local leaders by providing resources and examples of effective reforms and connecting them with other communities that are successfully reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails.

 

Paton Speaking Live in DC for Stepping Up

May 5th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Speaking Events 0 thoughts on “Paton Speaking Live in DC for Stepping Up”

May 5th, 2015

Paton is Speaking Up today alongside of US Senator Al Franken and US Representative Patrick Kennedy and other mental health speakers! Mental health is an issue where all political sides can come together and find mental health treatments and alternatives to jail for people with mental illnesses.

You can view this event live on Stepping Up’s stream!



Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Stepping Up is a national initiative designed to push counties nationwide to work on access to mental health treatment and alternatives to jail for people with mental illnesses. NAMI is working with a powerful coalition of national organizations, including the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Foundation and numerous law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse organizations. The initiative will challenge county, state and local leaders to work together to find solutions that work for the local community. Counties will be asked to follow a step-by-step process to build partnerships, assess current practices and develop a plan to implement research-based programs and services. It will also support local leaders by providing resources and examples of effective reforms and connecting them with other communities that are successfully reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails.

S.426 Passes House Judiciary Subcommittee

April 30th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “S.426 Passes House Judiciary Subcommittee”

April 30th, 2015

Today gives us exciting news as the Mental Health Court Program Act pass the SC House Judiciary Subcommittee! This is another important step for this crucial bill as it moves through the SC House!

From Senator Vincent Sheheen:

Many thanks to the Judiciary Subcommittee in the SC House of Representatives for unanimously passing out our mental health court bill this morning! Good things happen when we work together.

Paton Blough and Rehinge are excited as we continue to push forward with this bill.

I’m so proud to work with true leaders like Vincent Sheheen — who met with me (remember I’m one heck of a passionate, bipolar man who kept pushing the envelope) AND continued to work with me and others on pushing this mental health court bill. Vincent, you follow through with what you say – I thank you and so do the people that this will help save!!!

Remember, you can help push the passing of the S.426 as well! Please contact you House Representatives and let them know that you want the Mental Health Court Program Act to pass! You can find contact information and a template letter/speech by clicking here.

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About Rehinge

Rehinge exists to provide hope, education, and spiritual inspiration for all people affected with mental health issues and to fight stigma while pushing for global mental health reform.

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What People Are Saying

  • “It has been one of my greatest rewards as NAMI Greenville, SC Program Director to see your recovery from when we first met to your award as NAMI South Carolina’s Recovery Person of the Year to your appearance on the same stage with author Pete Early. I hope your book is every bit as successful as his has been.”

    Brian Lewis
    • Fletcher Mann
    • Program Director NAMI Greenville, SC
  • “It’s incredible. If you aren’t sure, always go for Cast. I don’t always clop, but when I do, it’s because of Cast. I made back the purchase price in just 48 hours!”

    Patrick Bates
    • Patrick Bates
    • CEO, SouthCentral
See all
  • “It has been one of my greatest rewards as NAMI Greenville, SC Program Director to see your recovery from when we first met to your award as NAMI South Carolina’s Recovery Person of the Year to your appearance on the same stage with author Pete Early. I hope your book is every bit as successful as his has been.”

    Brian Lewis
    • Fletcher Mann
    • Program Director NAMI Greenville, SC
  • “It’s incredible. If you aren’t sure, always go for Cast. I don’t always clop, but when I do, it’s because of Cast. I made back the purchase price in just 48 hours!”

    Patrick Bates
    • Patrick Bates
    • CEO, SouthCentral
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