An Opportunity to Associate Real People to the Washington Mental Illness Reform Debate


Dundas, ON -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/05/2014 -- Rep Murphy has put forth a bill in Congress called the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013. It has many supporters and detractors and has generated an opposing Bill put forth by Rep Barber. Bridgeross authors can provide context.

Bridgeross Communications publishes three books by people in various parts of the US who have been impacted by serious mental illness and who are willing to talk about their experiences – both positive and negative.

The most recent book is by Katherine Flannery Dering of Bedford, NY. Called Shot in the Head A Sister's Memoir, A Brother's Struggle, it deals with the efforts of a large family coping and helping a brother whose schizophrenia was treatment resistant and who spent his life in and out if institutions until his death from lung cancer.

Dr. Fred Frese, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University said “This eye-opening account of the realities of having a seriously mentally ill family member should be at the top of the "must read" list for anyone involved with, or otherwise interested in, improving mental health services for those who are most in need.” Best selling author, Randye Kaye, called this book an example of “the power of family love". Bedford librarian, Ann Cloonan, found the book to be "powerful and emotional".

An African American view of mental illness can be found in the mother daughter authors Sakeenah and Anika Francis. Sakeenah developed schizophrenia as a new mother and not only lost her daughter but spent considerable time in and out of mental institutions. Her daughter was raised by grandparents and aunts and went on to graduate from both the Universities of Pennsylvania and Georgia. But, mother and daughter remained in contact and, with the mother's recovery, they wrote a book called Love's All That Makes Sense: A Mother Daughter Memoir. The difficulties of growing up with a mother with a serious mental illness is explored.

"Dr Sarah Y Vinson, of Black Mental Health, said that the book “will provide validation and inspiration for families who face similar struggles, as well as provide mental health care providers with perspectives that can inform care."

The two have given numerous presentations including one to the annual conference of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and to various recovery organizations.

Dr Carolyn Dobbins is a practising clinical psychologist with a PhD from Vanderbilt and only came out as suffering from schizoaffective disorder with the publication of her book What A Life Can Be One Therapist's Take on Schizo-Affective Disorder. Dr Dobbins has been a practising therapist for over 25 years while coping with her illness. Dr. Thomas G Burish, a professor of psychology and Provost of Notre Dame described the book as "powerful and revealing, and provides a unique insight into chronic mental disease"

Writing in his Washington Post Blog, David Kopel called Dr Dobbins extraordinary. "It’s rare to meet people as intelligent as Carolyn, rarer still to meet someone which such a severe chemical mental disease, and rarest of all for someone to live such a productive life of active kindness and compassion while facing such crushing adversity".

All of the authors are available for interview through the publisher. For more information see

Bridgeross Communications
Marvin Ross