How Jails are Failing the Mentally Ill

The Death Of Victoria Gray: How Texas Jails Are Failing Their Most Vulnerable Captives

Think Progress has written one of the most comprehensive and evidence-based articles on the issue of suicide and mental illness in prisons that I have read to date. Writer Erica Hellerstein has put together a story of not only Texas’ failure of treating mentally ill inmates, but the need for our country as a whole to more seriously address this issue.

Paton was interviewed for this article to explain how mentally ill inmates are treated in jail, and his own personal experiences of his treatment behind bars. Erica ties Paton’s knowledge, along with other case studies, into the failure of many jails to properly follow mental illness guidelines, which has resulted from the US prison system becoming the largest mental health hospitals in the country. This is an excellent article that should be read and shared.

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Police, Prisons, and Public Safety

Paton spoke the other night at the Riley Institute on his past experiences with law enforcement and prisons in South Carolina. He covered his current advocacy work with CIT training and how it has improved the outcomes for police enounters with mentally ill individuals. He was also able to speak on the importance of mental health courts, and how the recent mental health court program act that passed in the SC legislature will help improve the lives mentally ill inmates.

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Mental Illness is No Crime

Newt Gingrich and Van Jones wrote an excellent article for CNN about how mental ill people need to be treated by appropriate mental health providers, and not be locked up in prisons for their actions. Paton and his person story of dealing with bipolar are highlighted in the article. Please take the time to read this piece.

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Paton at the SVN Annual Conference

Last week, Paton spoke at the Supervised Visitation Network Conference. Paton was featured as a plenary speaker as well as leading a workshop that addressed how trauma, mental health, and substance abuse impact our work in supervised visitation. His workshop focused on how to best serve the unique needs of these families and offer innovative approaches to enhancing our services for all participants.

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It’s Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough

The Huffington Post has published a piece on the cruelty and injustice in US prisons towards inmates with mental illnesses. Paton is featured in the article where he talks about his experiences with the justice system and prisons as a person with bipolar. The article and Paton also takes the time to talk about CIT training and how it can help aid law enforcement when dealing with mentally ill individuals.

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NPR Radio Interview with Paton

May 21st, 2015

Paton had a great opportunity to have an interview with Steve Walsh the NPR radio station, Lakeshore Public Radio in Indiana. Paton was able to discuss the issue of mentally ill individuals in prisons and solutions for it; along with the value of CIT training and other issues.

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Paton in DC – Stepping Up for Mental Health

Paton Blough delivered a wonderful speech about his life with mental illness, his recovery and his advocacy efforts at the Stepping Up initiative in Washington DC. Paton had the honor of speaking along with Representative Patrick Kennedy and Senator Al Franken. Rep Kennedy, the head of the Kennedy Forum–an organization working toward lasting change in the way mental health and addictions are treated in our healthcare system. Following are some highlights from Paton’s speech

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Paton as Keynote Speaker at the Supervised Visitation Network Annual Conference

Paton will be a plenary speaker at the upcoming Supervised Visitation Network Annual Conference, as well as lead a breakout session on Rehinge and his personal experiences with bipolar type 1. Paton’s keynote speech will be discussing the stigma and issues around mental illnesses, as well as treatments and how to live healthy, happy lives with mental illness.

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Climber Scales Table Rock Daily to Push Mental Health Court Bill

Paton and Rehinge made the front page of the Greenville News today with a wonderful article written by Liv Osby and photos taken by Heidi Heilbrunn. The article covers Paton’s recent journeys up Table Rock in order to push for SC House support for S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act. This article has great exposure for this bill, and will help bring the issue more into the light in the Upstate. You can learn more about how to support the Mental Health Court Program Act here.

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