News

Guest Opinion: Mug shots and mental illness

 

How does one's beloved child become a mug shot in the local newspaper? This is our somewhat abbreviated story about the ravages of mental illness and the toll it has taken on our family, as well as millions of other families throughout the country.

Mental illness didn't appear like a thunderbolt out of the blue; it crept up on us slowly. When it became apparent that we had joined a club that we didn't apply to- one to which we could never have imagined ourselves belonging- parents of a mentally ill child- the guilt and sense of loss were overwhelming. But this was only the beginning of what has seemed like a never-ending nightmare.

Growing up in Palo Alto, our older son, Cory, had a normal childhood. In middle and high school, he was a highly motivated student, athlete, musician and debater with a passion for history and a well-developed sense of social justice. Along with these interests, however, there were some dark clouds on the horizon. Normal teenage angst? Probably, we thought, as we dealt the best we could with various incidents that were brought to our attention.

When our son left for college, we felt that negotiating his new environment would be a positive challenge for him -- a new beginning -- and that whatever problems he had would be resolved as he confronted them with increased maturity. This turned out to be anything but the truth; the onset of our son's mental illness began seriously affecting his decision-making ability. At the end of his junior year, he was asked to sit out a semester and get help. For us, this was the beginning of what has become a never-ending quest to connect our son with mental health professionals who could accurately diagnose his illness and help him regain some semblance of the life he was rapidly losing- much easier said than done.

Here we are 15 years later, still on that same quest. As it turned out, cleaning up the chaos of our son's life in North Carolina just after his graduation was only the beginning. During these 15 years, he has cycled in and out of hospitals and jails in four different states and two different countries. Wherever he landed, we sought contact with relevant authorities (psychiatrists, case workers, public defenders) to pass along our son's psychiatric history and to let them know that he had family members who loved him and wanted the best for him. Sometimes, our son would give consent for us to be in the loop, and we could then receive information about his treatment. But more often, he would not, as he held on tightly to the last vestiges of control that he had over his life. Along with many other mentally ill people, he has poor insight into his own illness, leading to non-compliance with medications and a reluctance to engage in therapy, making treatment all the more difficult.

We were horrified when we learned of our son's latest transgressions in Palo Alto, and we are very sorry for the people who were victims of these transgressions. To highlight the state of psychosis leading him to such extreme anti-social behavior, it should be noted that just after this series of incidents, he was involuntarily hospitalized by the Palo Alto police for an extended mental health assessment. We did the usual, immediately submitting our son's psychiatric history to Dr. Kahlon, our son's attending psychiatrist at Fremont Hospital, emphasizing the need for long-term care. In addition to our input, the Palo Alto Police Department provided the hospital with information about our son's recent behavior, strongly suggesting extended treatment under 24/7 supervision. Despite this testimony, and despite the fact that our son had been non-compliant during his entire hospital stay and was still psychotic, he was released after two weeks. Several days later, he was arrested in Santa Clara on an outstanding warrant stemming from the incidents in Palo Alto.

We continue to work with the Palo Alto Police Department to try to channel our son into some form of mandated treatment so that he does not endanger himself or anyone else. At this point, this seems to be the only way for him to get the help he needs in order to begin to reintegrate into society. We do not expect it to be a short process, but what price does society pay when we don't invest in this sort of treatment? It's common knowledge now that there is a disproportionate number of mentally ill people living on our streets and in our prisons, many of whom could lead productive lives if we, as a country, had the will to prioritize the issues surrounding this very vulnerable group of people. To not do so is to perpetuate a society that is already suffering greatly from neglecting the less fortunate amongst us. We are also endangering the public as we have tragically witnessed all too many times during the past several decades.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which has been such a valuable support and resource for us and for many families like ours who walk this difficult road. If anyone you know is suffering from mental illness, or you know of family members of the mentally ill who are seeking help, you can connect them to the local NAMI website (www.namisantaclara.org), or have them call the NAMI county office at (408) 453-0400 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. A trained volunteer will be available to answer questions and provide support.

John and Pat Jacobs are both retired teachers and longtime Palo Alto residents. Their son Cory was arrested Aug. 30 for several incidents of lewd conduct in Palo Alto.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Thank you, John and Pat, for sharing your experience dealing with your son's mental illness in this Guest Opinion. What a disappointment for the insight of the Palo Alto Police Dept. in this matter to be negated by the seeming indifference of the health care system to the long-term needs of Cory, yourselves and society at large.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is an excellent resource and support for families and friends dealing with a mental health issue. I hope PA Weekly readers will draw on them for assistance when they need it and in turn support the organization's efforts to inform the public and help bring about changes in how we think about and deal with mental illness.


6 people like this
Posted by Gerry Larvey
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Sep 12, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Thanks to the Jacobs for sharing their difficult story. As harrowing as their journey has been, many families dealing with a loved one with a mental illness are familiar with it. Bringing it into the light can only help remove the very real stigma that affects so many individuals and the friends and family that love them. Thanks again for a courageous article.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I searched for the name, but couldn't find anything. Does anyone have a link to the original arrest report and/or statements from the victims?


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Posted by Reader
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:11 pm

What a well-written story. Thank you for enlightening us.


5 people like this
Posted by John Mitchem
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2014 at 8:54 am

Thanks to Mr.and Mrs. Jacobs for writing the eloquent piece about their son and his mental illness. And thanks to Palo Alto Online for publishing it. Unfortunately for hundreds of thousands of other families of persons with a mental illness and almost certainly for the Jacobs family as well, reality is much worse than described. The Mental Health System is broken and much of the public is uncaring.

One measure of the uncaring public is to consider the great fortunes that have been accumulated in the Bay Area in the last 75 years and examine the records of the foundations based on those fortunes. Such an examination will show that very, very little of those billions of dollars of Bay Area foundations goes to any kind of support or care for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and clinical depression.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2014 at 11:40 am

1. Mentally disabled people on the street should be criminalized. By this I mean that they are incapable of making rational choices, and the police should be able to arrest them, and FORCE them (often against their will)to the appropriate place. Those who support civil rights for these people should be shamed.

AND

2. The public should PAY for the appropriate facilities, within reason. I am willing to have my taxes raised to support this. This should be done at the federal level (at least the state level), in order to avoid magnet effects.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

John and Pat,
Thank you for your courage and wisdom in sharing this story. And thank you for your patience and love in living this story.


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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

@Craig Laughton: I cannot imagine to comprehend what goes on in your world. I am just glad that your worldview is yours alone, and that you are not in charge of actual policy in this area.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

>@Craig Laughton: I cannot imagine to comprehend what goes on in your world. I am just glad that your worldview is yours alone, and that you are not in charge of actual policy in this area.

My approach is the same one that Giuliani took in NYC. It worked, and it was much more humane than the current failed policy. It also cleaned up the streets. I have ethics and morality and public safety on my side.


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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm

The Giuliani policy? The one that was criticized for violating the basic Constitutional rights of those targeted? That policy?

If you're going to pick a policy, don't pick one from that character. ESPECIALLY when you consider how many lawsuits his administration lost in court cases.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by RW
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Thank you to the Jacobs for their open and honest letter. I wish their family the best in their journey.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Craig Laughton

Rather than disagree here with your position, let me comment on the irony of your comparison to New York City's policies. I know a bit about Giuliani's policies to rein in street crime to make the city feel safer, in part by extensive stop-and-frisk policies that became increasingly controversial even as they were retained, defended (and expanded, I believe) by Mayor Bloomberg.

What I don't know is how Bloomberg's policies differed from Giuliani's regarding treatment of the mentally ill by the criminal justice and health care systems. I bring this up because the Jacobs family's experience was that New York City (under Bloomberg) went much farther towards addressing Cory's underlying mental health needs when he became engaged in the justice system there than California ever did, before or since, even though he had been only recently resident there.

Maybe other Town Square readers could address whether this is primarily a difference of state policies or if the contrast is between the City of New York and the State of California. Also whether there was continuity or change as control of city administration passed from Giuliani to Bloomberg.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 14, 2014 at 8:31 am

@Jerry Underdal

I say very little about which specific programs will work for the mentally ill on our streets. All I am saying is that compulsion (criminalization)is required. The current system of allowing the mentally disabled to determine their own future, because of a misguided sense of civil rights, is both ineffective and morally wrong.


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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

@Craig Laughton: When you use language like "The current system of allowing the mentally disabled to determine their own future, because of a misguided sense of civil rights, is both ineffective and morally wrong," not only makes your argument not worth taking seriously; it also makes you come across as someone who has contempt for those you somehow consider "inferior" to you.

Think about that.


1 person likes this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm

@trolls

When your policy allows a lone woman to freeze to death on a Palo Alto park bench, it is an immoral policy. My policy would have prevented that.


2 people like this
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Please respect that this thread isn't about Craig Laughton, his beliefs, whether you agree with him or if his ideas would work if implemented.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Thank you to the Jacobs for giving us some insight into the difficulties your family faces. From reading a news report and then seeing the insight, we get a completely different reflection on the difficult nuances of a situation like this.

I don't like the term criminalization of those with mental illness, but I do think that sometimes a family or close relative should be able to petition to get an adult with mental illness into the right type of care to protect the adult and also the public at large. This is a conversation worth having. All situations are different and it can be easy to generalize, but the present situation of allowing those with these type of illnesses to be in charge of their own treatment when those that love them are helpless seems like a poor solution.


1 person likes this
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I agree with Craig Laughton. Our current policies towards the mentally ill on our streets ARE immoral. Our police should be able to arrest them, and then get them help, even if they don't want it. Thank you, Craig, for being willing to take a tough stance.


5 people like this
Posted by MD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. No one other than another parent of a mentally ill or addicted adult child can understand fully what hell you have and continue to experience -- the doctors who won't talk to you, the police who won't look, the colleges who won't do safety checks. The sleepless nights, the panic when the phone rings. I'm so sorry for what you have lost and I hope your boy gets well and you have him back soon. I'm also sorry for the insensitive posters here. Thank you for your courage in sharing his story and your story. Life just doesn't make sense sometimes.


2 people like this
Posted by sympathetic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Such situations are difficult, to be sure, but it is important to be supportive of those trying to do their best to help others. Criticizing others when you haven't walked in their shoes does not help. I have heard and read hurtful comments around here, these do not help. It is true proposing meaningful improvements in policies is difficult, too. But let's retains some compassion for others as you tool round town in your BMW, gloating at your superiority. I see attitude every day here.


1 person likes this
Posted by Michele
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

Thanks you very much for a wonderful, insightful article. I am sorry that you have had so much pain in your family. I hope that laws in the future help families more to assist members with mental illness. Very sad recent events such as Robin Williams' suicide have brought mental illness into public awareness and hopefully some good will come from this terrible event. I wish you the best in the future.


1 person likes this
Posted by Grateful
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

This is what I'd call healing journalism.

By starting this dialogue it may lead to healing for the Jacobs Family and our community at large. We're all hurt by seeing and hearing about mental illness and the randomness when mental illness touches our lives when least expected. We're startled and pained, but not as much as for the loved ones of the mentally ill. It's difficult and unsustainable to support the mentally ill just within the family of the mentally ill, yet we're dysfunctional in addressing a very universal condition as a community/society. We have no response that looks like understanding policy, compassionate institutions, or other supportive processes for this condition. I may be wrong so correct me if I am. Only having the option to criminalize a condition for social services to kick in seems to benefit the criminal justice system and adds more stress to the mentally ill and their family. Why isn't there a better response?

I appreciate the Jacobs Family for starting this dialogue. It's up to us to question our responses here. To track our thoughts to the origin of our thoughts...is it from the head or heart, fear or compassion? Where that path takes us is a mirror of our very human perception and the policy that perception produces. What place do you engage your thinking? If everyone thought that way, would it be the world that you'd like to live in? What world would you like to create? What policy or response do you want to be available for Cory or if it were to happen to your spouse, child, or sibling, or for you?

Lend support if you are feeling blessed. Have room to listen if you are feeling blessed. Donate to NAMI if you are feeling blessed. May you be blessed, regardless.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Claudia
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I am a single mom who has a 35 year old schizophrenic son living with me. I get no help from his father or my own family. Since he became ill at the age of 21 my life has been a never-ending nightmare. I wish there were more options and levels of care and housing for him - besides me. The biggest issue is confidentiality. He will not sign a release enabling me to work with his doctors. I have no way of being a part of the treatment. He has the law on his side and I have nothing. I cannot get power of attorney over him. He's not "incapacitated"- i.e. he can still fry and egg and take a shower. He will speak coherently to the Judge at the conservator-ship hearing. I will lose the bid to get some control over my life- by getting control over his. It all falls on the family to care for mentally ill people and that is why so many end up homeless. The family can no longer tolerate the stress and disharmony the illness wreaks. As a parent I grieve for the beautiful son I lost. He's not the young man I knew for 21 years. He was everything a parent could ask for- a loving, humorous and thoughtful young man who was going to college. Now he's a tortured soul, living a haunted reality I can't even begin to imagine.


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

>He has the law on his side and I have nothing

Claudia, you are a victim of the misguided laws that we currently have. Mentally disabled people should not have full civil rights. It is so sad to see so many people suffering from the immoral laws that are currently on the books. Unfortunately, there is an entire complex of people who make their living supporting these current laws.

I sympathize for all those families and individuals (and the public at large) who are suffering from the immorality of current laws. But sympathy is just a way for most people to get out of demanding real answers. The answer is to CHANGE THE LAW!


1 person likes this
Posted by Claudia
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

"Mentally disabled people should not have full civil rights."


Craig, thank you for having the courage to say what I wanted to.


4 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Maybe rephrasing: the mentally ill deserve special/specific rights that protect them from harming themselves or others. It's really not taking away their rights, its more like protecting them and their families.


I have a mentally ill family member and I agree the laws must be changed. Its been a nightmare even with insurance and a willing patient.


1 person likes this
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 16, 2014 at 12:27 am

Thank you for sharing your story, my heart goes out to you and your family.


2 people like this
Posted by A
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2014 at 10:40 am

I think you really don't know what it is like to care for a psychiatricaly challenged person until you are in that situation. It is more than heartbreaking to see a beautiful child grow up only to be taken from you later in life. I am sure they become almost strangers to you. The care and worry is endless because they are, by law, adults with personal rights. This story just made me cry as I myself have been close to a situation like this.

There should be more support legally for people with mental disabilities. They should be housed and treated better and more effectively because of their mental state. Police should have more training in reacting to someone with a mental disability and courts/prisons should take into account the overall mental state of a person and treat them, not punish them. They are already punished enough living the way they do.


3 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I have a son who was diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago while he was studying in college. We were fortunate to know his condistions when he had the first breakdown and get him to see the doctor on campus, subsequently we took him home for continued treatment and support. We start to find the resources in the community, NAMI is our life savor that we have known some wonderful families in the community who are so generous of their time to support us. My dear son has able to finish his degree after took one semester off from the school. He is doing well with a part time job at this time. He was hospitalized once when he thought he was cured and no longer need the medication, and the second admission was related to the medication changes, the older medication was no longer working even he restarted to take it again. We, as a family, have learned a great lessons of the medication treatment.
My dear son is functioning well at this time of his life, taking the medications, handling a part time work, going to the peer support meetings, has a insight of his illness, try to make good judgement of choices in life, ask for help from the friends who understood his challenges and willing to stand by him. We felt very fortunate and grateful that we survived through this life changing experience together, our relationship with our son groow stronger and closer through this ordeal.
My experinces with son's recovery made me believe that people do recover from a mental illness, with the right treatment and support, people can and will recovery. We should treat them the same, they should have all the equal rights like the rest of us. Tf we see the illness before we see the person, we would never give a fair chance to that individual, who also has a dream, talent, capacity and love like us; I also thought it could be a very difficult situation for the people who suffers from a mental illness to overcome, to feel and to see they are be judged by their illness. It will worsen the stigma that we have fight so hard for our loved one. I am also concern they might be afraid to get help or trust the health care system, create more barriers for the mental illness persons to seek help.
Please, please support people who have a mental illness in different stages of the recovery. They need a more undertanding and compassioante community to support their recovery, their needs such as for an employment opporunity, a housing support, a club house, or even for a respite for family to have a break.
For Mr. Jacob's family, mt thought and heart are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us, I read the story and tears just coming down my face without I realized that I was crying. The mental illness strike our family, too. I want you to know that you are not suffering alone, you are brave parent and you always do the best for your son. I hope you will find peace and strength in reading other's stories. With faith and hope, I am sure we will overcome this challenge with our loved someday in the future. Try to live your life the best you can, do not let this mental illness take away all the joy and happiness in your family, please. I will keep you in my prayers.


1 person likes this
Posted by Murphy bill?
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

My heart goes out to the Jacobs family, and others dealing with the scourge of mental illness in their loved ones. It seems that the bill proposed By Rep Murphy of PA could be helpful:
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Murphy bill?
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

More info on HR3717:
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by scooper
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 16, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I want to thank Pat and John for sharing their story, it took much courage and I am sure added more stress and suffering to their lives. However, only by increasing public awareness of mental illness will something finally happen to push us forward to try and solve this problem, I know so many beautiful, bright and promising young adults who have succumbed to mental illness, without warning and without an identifiable cause. To make matters worse, there is no prescription for treatment, each case is unique, adding to the heartbreak and frustration. It seems Cory was released despite his doctor's advice and the wishes of his parents. Our laws need to be rebalanced, gone are the days when people were locked up forever in institutions….we can honor their civil rights, by first decriminalizing mental illness and offering some real help to the victims and their families.


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Posted by Sherry
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Your supportive neighbor
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I can totally relate to your story.
Please know that we are here to support you and your family.
I am glad that there is a great organization in town call Momentum , that helps people with mental problems.
If anyone knows someone or personally need someone to talk to, call Momentum.
Help is around the corner.


2 people like this
Posted by Claudia
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I admire anyone who is willing to share their ordeal having a mentally ill family member. It takes courage, and mental fortitude to face what may be harmful feedback, even ostracism- especially from those who have no idea what having mental illness entails. I am a teacher and I could never talk about Ryan's illness in the staff room at lunch. A handful of close confidants know about my son and the hardships we face but I can't risk the stigma with the other staff- especially where Schizophrenia is concerned. Even my extended family don't want to hear about my life. I'm a reminder of something that is broken that no one knows how to fix. As humans we need to believe we can fix something, make our lives better, if only we try hard enough we can do it. This is a whole new experience that - no matter how hard I try- how vigilant and diligent I am- no matter how many NAMI meetings I go to, I still go home and must face a situation that is beyond my control. I still believe, however, he will come out of this and that hope and faith pulls me through.


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Posted by traceychen
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2014 at 7:46 am

Dear Friends & Neighbors,
Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) is a local service provider. We have referred many folks to Momentum Health. However, there have been occasions when NHN has handled the case management to guide and navigate services for a few with mental illness. Here's two success stories where we learned the power of collaborations between neighbors, residents, mental health & medical community.

#1 Midtown story with a good outcome for a young man we learned has mental illness challenges.
Last Dec. 2013, I received a phone call from a Midtown neighbor that a young man was sleeping in her front yard when she went out to get her newspaper. It took four days of our outreach counselor approaching this man gingerly until we learned facts about him and his situation. Come to find our he was a Paly graduate, lived all his life in Palo Alto. But when his mother died of breast cancer two years ago his father moved the family to central valley. During the 2013 holiday season in this young mans greif, he returned to Midtown to be close to the place where his mother had lived.
He did have a car but in his mental and emotional state he forgot where he parked it. That's how he came to end up on my neighbors yard. Within a week, we were able to locate this young man's father and luckily he agreed to return to his new home in the central valley. It's with the care and compassion my neighbor had that lead to a good outcome for this young man. It would have been a very different situation if he had become a victim to the criminal justice system.
# 2 Feb, 2014, Elderly senior who was evicted from her apartment. We came to know of her mental illness challenges.
Fortunately, this vulnerable lady was referred to NHN, during the final phase of her eviction. NHN crisis/case management team has been on an on-going journey with this lady (she has no family nor friends w/resources). This path has gone from assembling volunteers to pack/move/store her personal belongings, multiple emergency hospitalization(s), in & out patient treatment (from Palo Alto-Marin-San Jose)navigating very inadequate services, search for suitable housing, unattainable proper mental health & medical diagnosis, then some adequate medications if taken regularly helped stablize her emotional highs, heavy resistance from doctors/counselors/psychiatrists to their eventual cooperation to provide what our lady needs. Our senior is now well supported, lives in a private residence, has weekly visits from mental health case manager, we have set up direct deposit/bill paying and she receives other basic needs. She now knows she is loved and supported. Although, she still struggles with her mental illness, she is housed and safe.
Our medical & mental health systems are overburdened and under funded, although NHN does agree that there needs to be improvement in how and when help is given, we applaud those professionals and volunteers who work with people who have mental illness. It really does take the whole community to help our mentally challenged access services, coop and thrive.
We have nothing to fear from our mentally ill, they have their gifts too. And can be healthy, productive members of our neighborhoods and cities.
If you know of anyone who is struggling with life's challenges refer to the Palo Alto Weekly calendar pages for upcoming NHN outreach events.
Caryll-Lynn Taylor
Chairman - Welfare Secretary
Salvation Army - Palo Alto Service Extension 501(c)3
NeighborsHelpingNeighbors2013@gmail.com
Phone: 650-283-0270 (No Texting, please)
P.O. BOX 113
Palo Alto, CA 94302
FACEBOOK: Web Link


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Posted by Sherry
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Neighbors Helping Neighbors,

Would you mind walking through Hoover Park, and providing what help you can for the man that is living over there (handball court)? He needs help.

Thank you for your consideration.


1 person likes this
Posted by Former Classmate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I just want to thank the Jacobs family for sharing their situation. As a former classmate of Cory's, I very sincerely hope you are all able to find help that ultimately gives Cory the tools and supports he needs.


1 person likes this
Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm

TO:Sherry - Midtowm
Please contact NHN @ our email address or phone. Provide us with alittle more details and we will be happy to see what we can do.
Have you spoken to the man in Hoover Park? What is his name?
What hours or time of day do you see him? What makes you think he needs help?
There is a possiblity that we may already know of him.

Just call or email. We would prefer that you not brodcast on this public forum the personal details of anyone who you think my need help. Let's talk privately. We want to be respectful and sensitive to this man's privacy.

Thank you for caring. Kindly, NHN Outreach Team.
NeighbosHelpingNeighbors2013@gmail.com #650-283-0270


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Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

Would Palo Alto want police trained to respond to mental illness appropriately and save $50 million over 5 years like San Antonio, TX?

Residents and police can ask for this training that will empower them to respond to the mentally ill, reduce their overtime in response to mentally ill, and take the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system at a great savings to tax payers.
Please view 8 minutes of this program - fast forward to last few minutes is enough to understand how PA can benefit:
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Jean
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Dear Pat and John,
You have always been so brave, and I thank you for sharing your story. My daughter went through the Momentum program, after leaving an abusive relationship, by taking herself to a local hospital and admitting herself to the psych unit. She is doing well; however, it's hard to relax. NAMI has been great support for another friend. Keep the faith!


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