NAMI Minnesota's Fall Author Series: My Story highlights authors who are telling their story of living with a mental illness or living with a loved one who does.
This month's author, Mindy Greiling, will read passages from her book 'Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker's Fight for Her Son'. She served in the House of Representatives in Minnesota for 20 years, including 14 after her son was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder in 1999. She helped found the nation’s first state mental health caucus, which successfully lobbied for a significant increase in Minnesota’s mental health funding. She has served on state and national boards of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is on the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Community Advisory Council.
In his early twenties, Mindy Greiling’s son, Jim, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after experiencing delusions that demanded he kill his mother. At the time, and for more than a decade after, Greiling was a Minnesota state legislator who struggled, along with her husband, to navigate and improve the state’s inadequate mental health system. Fix What You Can is an illuminating and frank account of caring for a person with a mental illness, told by a parent and advocate.
The book chronicles her efforts to pass legislation to address problems in the mental health system, including obstacles to parental access to information and insufficient funding for care and research. It also recounts Greiling’s painful memories of her grandmother, who was confined in an institution for twenty-three years—recollections that strengthen her determination that Jim’s treatment be more humane. Written with her son’s cooperation, Fix What You Can offers hard-won perspective, practical advice, and useful resources through a brave and personal story that takes the long view of what success means when coping with mental illness.
You can find the book here: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/fix-what-you-can