Help 60 Minutes Get the Story Right on People with Schizophrenia

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October 8, 2013 – Today, the Bazelon Center and other concerned organizations sent a letter to CBS’ 60 Minutes in response to “Untreated Mental Illness an Imminent Danger?” We ask all of our supporters and allies to tell 60 Minutes to devote a future segment to presenting a different, factual perspective on people with psychiatric disabilities than that offered by one psychiatrist whose highly controversial views appear to fuel “Imminent Danger.” “Imminent Danger” paints individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia as ticking time bombs with the potential to become violent at any time, and as hopeless and helpless people whose primary life options are hospitalization, homelessness, or incarceration. The segment ignores the fact that individuals with schizophrenia can and do live fulfilling lives, start their own families, work, live independently, and participate fully in their communities.The segment also inaccurately suggests that the primary need in our mental health system is for more hospitalization and forced treatment. In fact, a long history of reports and a virtual national consensus indicate that our mental health system is broken because we are failing to invest in effective community services and supports, such as supported housing, supported employment, mobile crisis services, peer supports, and mobile community support teams. These resources enable people with significant psychiatric disabilities to live in their own homes, lead their own lives, and thrive like anyone else.

What You Can Do:

  • Tell 60 Minutes success stories of people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disabilities.
  • Mention any community services or supports – such as those listed above – that enabled these individuals to lead their own lives.
  • Tell 60 Minutes to devote a future segment to presenting a different perspective of people with psychiatric disabilities.

How? Write and/or email:
Jeffrey Fager
60 Minutes Executive Producer
CBS Corporation
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
SEND EMAIL *Use “ATTN Jeffrey Fager” on the Subject Line.

Thank you for your advocacy!