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17 September 2013

Letter to Governor Nikki Haley

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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, August 28, 2012. (Harry E. Walker/MCT)

Dear Governor Haley,

Thank you for being who I consider the best Governor I have ever had in my 37 years of life.   I am writing you as a concerned constituent who would love to see your progress in the area of mental health reform taken to an even higher level.   If you remember I briefly talked with you at the Charlotte airport in June and voiced some of my concerns to you in person.

I am a man who has battled bipolar type 1 disorder since 2002 and at one point spent a third of my life in jail or in a mental hospital.   During that three year period I lost my entire business, (which had grossed over 1 million dollars) my marriage completely crumbled,  my house foreclosed on and at one point was living in my car.  Since 2008  I was able to receive help from a variety of area’s including Greenville Mental Health,  NAMI,  my now second wife, and perhaps most importantly my church and God.

Family Photo 2012I have been psychosis episode free for 4 years and have turned my story into help and inspiration for others.   God has blessed me with a strong wife who owns www.redhype.com ad agency in downtown Greenville and a new child to go along with my 5 other children.  I have worked with Fred Riddle from NAMI training over 200 officers and dispatchers in the upstate through the Crisis Intervention Class we offer.  I have also worked directly with the Greenville Police Dept. in their hostage negotiation/swat training.   I also talk to NAMI family education classes and meet with people on an individual basis.  In 2011  I received the “Recovery Member of the Year” award from the State of SC NAMI board.Paton 2011 Best Recovery Award

I tell you all this to offer my  help to you or your staff when it comes to any measures you may consider when it comes to state wide mental health reform.  I think I have invaluable information to offer when it comes to being honest with what psychosis really is.  I also have no fear of speaking publicly to anybody including the SC  legislature.   The problems are huge and they effect every person living in our state in one way or another.    I am in the process of trying to launch a career in this area and am willing to seize any opportunity I get to make a difference.    It is my belief that anyone who arms themselves with facts will realize that being very proactive in this area will reduce stigma,  improve the quality of lives in our communities while saving money!

I would also like to extend to you a personal invitation to our annual www.diningfornami.com event at the Embassy Suites in Greenville. Frank Page from Taylor’s First Baptist Church will be our guest speaker.

Thank you so much for reading this and I wish you the best on your re-election campaign. Feel free to call or text me at any time

Sincerely,
Paton Blough

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