It has been a long road fought so far, and I do believe I've found meaning in the suffering.
For my dad, I thank him tremendously and have found his strength through the difficult times something to be admired." he nation learns about the Will Bruces of the world after the unthinkable happens: "Caratunk woman found slain; husband discovers body at home; son surrenders in South Portland" read the headline in the Bangor Daily News on June 22, 2006. Even more rare is the chance to hear from the mentally ill themselves.
But he fought unfathomable grief and a stubborn bureaucracy to wrest hope from tragedy. "All of our happy days have a shadow because of what happened," says Joe. He marvels at a little thing like having his own bathroom.
"I'm so happy for Will, but every time I feel happiness the first thing I think of is: if only they had treated him beforehand." On this night, Will settles in his new room after dining on pulled pork sandwiches with the others. On his dresser he has placed a photograph taken on vacation in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
He'd refused treatment for 2 1/2 months and gone back into the world the way he'd arrived: confused, incoherent, psychotic. They watch Will, and hope to take the same path toward freedom.
Two months later, he bludgeoned his mother to death with a hatchet. On this day in March, Will heads a few blocks around the corner to a 1960s split ranch, a doctor's office that has been converted into a supervised group home.
After seven years in a psychiatric hospital, Will is taking his first steps toward freedom.
ill Bruce strolls across the pale yellow and green linoleum tile of the psychiatric hospital that has been his home for more than seven years.
"I don't think I'll ever truly forgive myself," says Will, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Forgiveness -- whether from yourself or others -- can remain elusive.Read full story » There are few bipartisan issues left in Washington, yet Republicans and Democrats alike insist changes to the nation's mental health system are long overdue. It's called the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, or HR 3717.The debate isn't about whether reform is needed; it's about how best to implement it -- a delicate balance between treatment, civil rights and public safety. Among its key provisions: making it easier to commit someone involuntarily and allowing more parental involvement in a young adult's care."For all my friends and family who supported me in my new transition, a warm-hearted thank you," he writes."This begins a new chapter in my life and will be the beginning of what I hope to be a long line of successes and achievements.