Posts by Paton

Paton & Governor Nikki Haley on Bob McLain Show

March 6th, 2014 Posted by Audio, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Paton & Governor Nikki Haley on Bob McLain Show”

September, 2011

Full Broadcast: Bob McLain, W.O.R.D., News Radio

Paton calls into the show with Governor Nikki Haley on as well, and asks her about mental health reform. Paton talks about the reduction in mental health funding in South Carolina. Paton asks if it would not be fiscally beneficial to increase mental health spending to help prevent issues that lack of funding would later cause. Governor Haley responds that she would like more mental health support groups and organizations in more rural areas in the state, along with substance abuse prevention. She says she is looking into increasing mental health funding through means other than raising taxes.

One Year After Newtown

December 11th, 2013 Posted by Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “One Year After Newtown”

December 11, 2013

Supporting Articles:
The Newtown Bee – Sandy Hook Families Joining Vice President Announcing $100 Million In Mental Health Funding
Rasmussen Reports – 54% Think More Focus on Mental Health Issues Will Prevent Future Newtown Incidents

One year ago in Newtown, Conn., our nation experience what I consider to be perhaps the saddest tragedy in our 237-year history. All of us parents remember hugging our children extra tightly that day, and having a tough time understanding how anyone could take the life of a defenseless child.

In the aftermath of this horrific event, I continue to pray for all those affected by the tragedy. But while I wish it had never happened, I still am thankful for the good that has come from this.

When I speak of good following the shooting, I speak of the subsequent nation-wide focus on mental health. Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals is certainly part of the solution to prevent mass shootings. But the root of the problem lies in our ability to adequately treat mental health issues in this country.

One of the reasons people suffering from mental health issues do not get the treatment they deserve is because of the staggering amount of stigma that still exists around the issue. My belief is that the more open we are about our issues and the more we talk about – and collectively face – our problems, the more that stigma will fade. It may be uncomfortable to imagine that Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, was experiencing an episode of psychosis when he committed these crimes, but from my perspective, that could likely be the case.

At first, I might have said that Newtown added to the existing mental health stigma in a way, because, let’s face it – who would want to identify with a mass killer? I’m happy to say, though, that I saw a change in the media climate over the past six months, and it seems like most of the articles I read stressed that openness about mental health issues and early prevention are keys to reducing or eliminating the number of mass shootings in this country.

There is no shame in dealing with a mental illness. And while serious, it is common for persons to have thoughts that are either homicidal or suicidal. The shame comes when a person is dealing with these sorts of issues, and the only response they receive in return is one based in fear. We need to respond in love and understanding every time and explain to the person in crisis that their struggle is a medical one, no different than a broken leg or even cancer. We should all be willing and open to receiving psychiatric help with our heads held high.

I am proud of the way many of the family members of those injured, killed or affected by the Newtown tragedy have kept the focus on mental health, and I want them to know that their effort is helping to make a difference in saving lives. A new Rasmussen poll has shown that 54 percent of Americans now believe that a focus on mental health issues will help prevent another Newtown tragedy, which is up from 48 percent of respondents in a poll conducted just one year ago. While a six percent increase may not seem like a lot, consider where we’ll be if we can move the needle 6 points per year in the next seven years.

Today, let’s all take the time to pray and grieve with the families on the one-year anniversary of Newtown. But let’s also continue to fight for more mental health awareness that will improve lives in our communities and help prevent another Newtown from happening.

Kennedy’s vision for mental health never realized

November 25th, 2013 Posted by Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “Kennedy’s vision for mental health never realized”

November 25, 2013

I think it is clear that we would not have as big of a mental health mess today if President Kennedy had not been killed 50 years ago.

Now my question is could someone get elected today on a bipartisan platform to reform mental health as their main plank?

Read the entire article on the USA Today Website.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The last piece of legislation President John F. Kennedy signed turns 50 this month: the Community Mental Health Act, which helped transform the way people with mental illness are treated and cared for in the United States.

Signed on Oct. 31, 1963, weeks before Kennedy was assassinated, the legislation aimed to build mental health centers accessible to all Americans so that those with mental illnesses could be treated while working and living at home, rather than being kept in neglectful and often abusive state institutions, sometimes for years on end.

Kennedy said when he signed the bill that the legislation to build 1,500 centers would mean the population of those living in state mental hospitals — at that time more than 500,000 people — could be cut in half. In a special message to Congress earlier that year, he said the idea was to successfully and quickly treat patients in their own communities and then return them to “a useful place in society.”

Read the entire article on the USA Today Website.

10 Tips to Deal with Stress and Depression During the Holidays

November 25th, 2013 Posted by Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “10 Tips to Deal with Stress and Depression During the Holidays”

Here are 10 tips to help you through the holidays.

You can read the full article here on the Mayo Clinic Website.

When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

  3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

  5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.

  6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.

  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.

  8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.

  9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

  10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Creigh Deeds Tragedy

November 20th, 2013 Posted by Advocacy, Media, News Commentary 1 thought on “Creigh Deeds Tragedy”

Read the TIME’s Article Here

It is very unfortunate that I have no shortage of daily news items to blog about. Today’s story about Senator Creigh Deeds and what happened to his son is tragic beyond belief. My hope and prayer is that Mr. Deeds has a speedy recovery and uses his political status to highlight the need for mental health reform in the future.

For those of you who have not read the story, it appears that Senator Deeds attempted to get his 24 year old son a psychiatric hospital bed and was turned away because there was none available. Hours later he was stabbed by his son who then took his own life.

Not only is there not enough beds available the process to actually get someone admitted into a hospital is very complex and confusing. Psych hospitals do not just let you walk up to them and easily take someone in for evaluation. It is a lengthy process to get someone admitted that usually involves an ER where things usually escalate in the mentally ill person’s mind. I know and remember these feelings first hand. The process needs to be reformed period!

Bringing it back home we have gone from over 1,000 beds available to fewer than 500 in just the last 10 years. Historically 40 years ago we had 3,500 beds available before “de-institutionalization” took place. I put de-institutionalization in quotes on purpose because it is a really not correct. We have actually increased our institutionalization of the mentally ill only now we do not put them in hospitals we put them in prison. In the last 40 years we have grown a mentally ill inmate population to over 10,000 individuals who receive little to no counseling while locked up. This my friends is the very definition of insanity! The human cost and the literal cost of not acting as a society is staggering. Lets work together to fix this. Please consider signing my pledge


Police Being Sued for Shooting Three Emotionally Disturbed People

October 29th, 2013 Posted by Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “Police Being Sued for Shooting Three Emotionally Disturbed People”

After reading this article I was shocked that one of the most progressive cities in America would not have fully implemented Crisis Intervention Teams by now. I want to be careful not to appear like a police basher on my blog, but I want the reader to know why I am so passionate about CIT. I sincerely admire officers that swear to protect perfect strangers with their lives, but with out proper training instituted by upper levels of law enforcement they can unwittingly become perpetrators of crime. CIT training purely and simply saves lives! When organizations like NAMI give CIT training to those officers who are on the front lines about how to de-escalate a mental health crisis, that training saves lives and a lot of money at the same time.

Occasionally, I do like to point a finger at the root of a problem. Keep in mind our current government has failed our country’s mentally ill over the last 50 years. We have reduced the number of psychiatric hospital beds available from 550,000 to 45,000, while growing a mentally ill inmate population of over 1.2 million individuals. Police have to arrest and charge these people and then deal with it all over again when they are released. Only a handful of correction facilities offer meaningful counseling or therapy for prisoners while they are locked up. We treat people with a medical condition worse than our pets and expect them to get better? This could truly be the definition of insanity. Our illustrious elected officials thought that de-institutionalizing the mentally ill would save money while improving lives. Ha! Sorry, Mr. Esteemed Elected Official, if you don’t fund mental health treatments, you end up with an epidemic like we see today that has costs in the billions. Lives have been lost, money has been lost, and we have a police force on the front lines without proper training dealing with this travesty on a daily basis.

CIT training is definitely needed across our nation like never before, but as we push for more training lets not forget the root of the problem and push for meaningful mental health reform!

Excerpt From Article:

The last words Elsa Cruz heard her husband say, in response to the police officers banging on his locked front door, were: “Don’t knock on my door, it’s against my will.”

She’ll never forget what came next.

“I heard, bluh, bluh, bluh – the sound of the tool as they broke the door down. There was silence, then a loud bang.”

The shot hit her husband, Samuel, a Puerto Rican artist living in New Rochelle, New York, in the chest, and left him dying a pool of blood in their homes.

The encounter that led to the shooting, which happened in May of this year, began when Cruz, 55, called 911 to try to get medical help for her husband, who had become agitated. When police arrived, she told them that he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but did not have a weapon. She begged them to allow her to talk to him, but they refused and told her to stay away. She sought refuge in a neighbor’s apartment below the one she shared with her husband, within earshot of the unfolding tragedy.

Read The Full Article:

Paton & Wife, Marie on Focus on the Upstate with Lisa Rollins

October 27th, 2013 Posted by Audio, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Paton & Wife, Marie on Focus on the Upstate with Lisa Rollins”

October 27th, 2013

Download Broadcast:

Paton Blough and Marie Dunn-Blough join Upstate radio personality Lisa Rollins to talk about NAMI, the Launch of Rehinge and mental health in general. This 30 minute interview should encourage you to never give up on hope for those suffering from a mental Illness.  There are more resources for education and recovery available than you may be aware of.  Listen and learn about what is going on and available in the Greenville SC area.

NAMI Director Reaches Out to People With Mental Illness

October 14th, 2013 Posted by Advocacy, Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “NAMI Director Reaches Out to People With Mental Illness”

So proud to have our local NAMI Greenville ed highlighted in the Greenville News. Ken Dority is an excellent director and I have enjoyed getting to know him during the last year. Also excited that has been highlighted. People get your tickets soon November 5th will be here before you know it!

Excerpt From Article:

For Ken Dority, the statistics on mental illness are “staggering.”

For example, Dority cites a statistic that one in four adult Americans will experience mental illness in a given year.

“The numbers are huge,” says Dority, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness Greenville. They indicate that about 100,000 people in Greenville County are affected by such conditions as anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

But Dority, who came to NAMI in February after careers in manufacturing and financial services, hopes to help the organization reach out to even more people in the community and beyond.

Read The Full Article:

Paton on the Russ Cassell Show: Recovery Is Possible

October 4th, 2013 Posted by Audio, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Paton on the Russ Cassell Show: Recovery Is Possible”

October 4th, 2013

Full Broadcast: Russ Cassell, W.O.R.D., News Radio

Paton calls into the show to challenge Russ on why mental health is important. Russ Cassell goes on to claim that being mentally ill has no impact on whether someone commits murder or not. Paton explains that those who deal with mental illness often feel threatened, and need help over being neglected. Paton goes on to explain that mental illness is a medical issue and needs to be treated as such. Russ responds that evil is evil, regardless of mental illness. Paton agrees that mental illness cannot be a crutch for criminals, but that those with mental illness that are convicted of crimes need to be treated by the law in a different manner, which is why the mental health court exists. Paton says that he believes that recovery is possible for everyone with mental illness.

Navy Yard Shooting

Letter to the Editor: Mentally ill not more likely to kill

September 20th, 2013 Posted by Advocacy, Letters, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Mentally ill not more likely to kill”

Published: The Washington Times, Sept. 20, 2013

The national news media should report more facts whenever they cover stories having to do with mass shooters being mentally ill (“Aaron Alexis‘ history renews debate between mental issues, gun crimes,” Web, Sept. 18).

This includes, of course, this week’s Navy Yard shooting. If I were to rely solely on the coverage I have seen over the past few years, I would assume every mentally ill person is a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any moment. Actually, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 57.7 million Americans have suffered from a mental illness in the past 12 months. That is 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older. Furthermore, a person with a severe mental illness is four times more likely to be a victim of a crime than to commit a crime.

Come on, news media, quit adding to the stigma that makes mental illness scarier, and report all the facts.


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.

Learn More »

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