Posts tagged "health"

Paton’s Presentation at the Riley Institute

August 7th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Speaking Events 0 thoughts on “Paton’s Presentation at the Riley Institute”

Here is Paton’s presentation at the Riley Institute last week. He had the honor of speaking along side of others involved with criminal justice system in SC. Together they discussed experiences and possibilities for improving SC’s justice and prison system, including how to better treat mentally ill individuals who may end up in said system.

Police, Prisons, and Public Safety

July 30th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Speaking Events 0 thoughts on “Police, Prisons, and Public Safety”

July 30th, 2015

Paton spoke the other night at the Riley Institute on his past experiences with law enforcement and prisons in South Carolina. He covered his current advocacy work with CIT training and how it has improved the outcomes for police enounters with mentally ill individuals. He was also able to speak on the importance of mental health courts, and how the recent mental health court program act that passed in the SC legislature will help improve the lives mentally ill inmates.

I was incredibly honored to be invited to speak at this event tonight that included the Chief of police from Charleston, the Director of the SCDOC, The Director of The SCPPP, The Sheriff of Richland County and several more distinct advocates in our community including Stuart Andrews of Nelson Mullins. – Paton

The Riley Institute at Furman is also still having presentations for the next couple of weeks on prisons and the justice system in South Carolina! You can learn more about the Riley Institute’s Summer Series on their website, and how to purchase tickets. Straight Talk SC Crime and Punishment: Thinking Outside the Cell

riley-at-furman-logo

Crime & Punishment – Paton Speaking at the Riley Institute Summer Series

July 3rd, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Speaking Events 0 thoughts on “Crime & Punishment – Paton Speaking at the Riley Institute Summer Series”

July 3rd, 2015

On July 28th, Paton will be speaking at Straight Talk SC, Crime and Punishment: Thinking Outside the Cell, a summer series of presentations put on by the Riley Institute at Furman University, SC.

On the 28th, session moderator Mark Quinn will host a conversation with community members and law enforcement officers looking at the challenges facing police and the communities which they serve. Paton will be among the presenters on this day where he will talk about being arrested and sent to prison due to actions related to Bipolar I Disorder. He will also talk about his recovery work through advocacy for mental health reform, such as pushing for the passing of the Mental Health Court Program Act, and teaching CIT training to local law enforcement.

From the Riley Institute’s Website

It is clear that something is broken in today’s criminal justice system. The massive growth in American prisons over the last four decades has burdened tax payers, overcrowded the prisons, and devastated vulnerable communities. Strong economic arguments as well as compelling compassionate reasons exist for why we can no longer maintain the status quo.

This year’s summer series will examine the data around crime, incarceration and the impact of our existing system of justice on communities, discuss our state’s law enforcement and prison system practices in light of historical and contemporary contexts, and highlight innovative programs that are being implemented in South Carolina.

Stay tuned for more information and coverage of this event in the near future!

Mental Health Court Program Act Passes!

June 2nd, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Media 0 thoughts on “Mental Health Court Program Act Passes!”

June 2nd, 2015

Exciting news! The Mental Health Court Program Act, bill S.426, was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley! This a great victory for South Carolina and mental health reform. The Mental Health Court Program Act will help establish a mental health court program in every county in the state, which will help divert indicted mentally ill people to appropriated mental health programs instead of jails and prisons. We still have a long way to go for mental health reform, but for now we can celebrate this great victory! A HUGE thank you to everyone that helped us get this bill passed! Your calls, emails and support helped make this law a reality; you deserve the greatest thanks for your efforts.

Here’s a word of thanks from Paton:

I just received a call from the Governors office that S.426 The Mental Health Court Program Act was officially signed into law by Governor Haley…. A special huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who wrote emails, made phone calls, shared posts etc to make this happen. I am especially thankful for Vincent Sheheen who authored the bill and for Senator Shane Massey who kept it going with strength. We also could not have done this with out all the help from the media! Thank you Greenville News, Wyff 4, WSPA, WORD Radio, WLTX Columbia , The State News, The Greenville Journal, The Washington Times, The AP, Eric G. Wood, Liz Lohuis Stanislawski , April Morris, Tim Smith, Liv Osby, Gordon Dill, and Joyce Koh. Finally thank you is well deserved for the support of Marie Limnios Dunn-Blough and her team from Redhype with the point person being the fabulous designer, copywriter and web guru Mika Hearn. I thank you all, the NAMI and mental health community thanks you and the entire state thanks you or will some day! And thank you as well to James Hayes, Elaine Hester and Tamar Paltrow Zwerdling.

Mental Illness is No Crime

June 2nd, 2015 Posted by Articles, Media, News Commentary 0 thoughts on “Mental Illness is No Crime”

June 2nd, 2015

Newt Gingrich and Van Jones wrote an excellent article for CNN about how mental ill people need to be treated by appropriate mental health providers, and not be locked up in prisons for their actions. Paton and his person story of dealing with bipolar are highlighted in the article. Please take the time to read this piece.

Read the full article on CNN

Before Paton Blough got his bipolar disorder under control, it nearly cost him everything.
The Greenville, South Carolina, resident was arrested six times in three years, each for an episode related to his illness. Instead of receiving treatment, he was thrown in jail. In the rough prison environment and without proper treatment, he ended up with two felony convictions for crimes committed while incarcerated.

Blough managed to find a path to treatment. That makes him one of the lucky ones. Today, mentally ill Americans are disproportionately more likely to be arrested, incarcerated, suffer solitary confinement or rape in prison and commit another crime once released.

Quick: Name the largest provider of mental health care in America. If you guessed “our prisons and jails,” you would be right.

A 2006 U.S. Department of Justice study found that three out of four female inmates in state prisons, 64% of all people in jail, 56% of all state prison inmates and 45% of people in federal prison have symptoms or a history of mental disorder.

America’s approach when the mentally ill commit nonviolent crimes — locking them up without addressing the problem — is a solution straight out of the 1800s.

Read the full article on CNN

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.

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.

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.

 

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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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