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.
Senate Judiciary Panel Passes Mental Health Courts Bill!
Yesterday was a major step for mental health reform in South Carolina! The SC Senate Judiciary Committee voted 23-0 for the Bill S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act, to move forward to the SC House. This is a crucial piece of legislation that will help reduce the number of mentally ill individuals incarcerated in state prisons, while diverting them to appropriate mental health services. This bill passing the SC Senate yesterday was thanks to not only the efforts of Paton Blough and other mental health advocates and local politicians, but also everyone who contacted their senators to encourage them to support the Mental Health Court Program Act. Thank you for your support now and in the future as this bill moves through the legislative process!
WSPA has written an excellent article and accompanying video on how mental health spending cuts has increased police shootings in South Carolina.
Paton Blough had the honor of speaking at a congressional briefing in Capitol Hill on December 9th, 2014 on the need of reducing the number of mentally ill individuals in US prisons and jails.
We’re excited to announce that Paton Blough just have received notice that his workshop proposal was accepted for the CIT International conference this fall in Monterey, California! Lieutenant Owens from the GPD and Fred Riddle from NAMI will be presenting with Paton on “How to Turn Tragedy Into Success”.
Paton Blough of Rehinge was featured on Another Voice with Jason and Eric, an online radio podcast focused in the Greenville area of South Carolina. The whole show for this podcast is related to mental health in the state and how things can be reformed.
I am somewhat appalled at the lack of response from Gov. Nikki Haley after Judge Michael Baxley highlighted the way our Department of Corrections has been abusing the severely mentally ill in our prisons. Gov. Haley had the opportunity during her State of the State Address to mention these issues along with a plan to remedy this situation but instead decided to remain silent.
January 20, 2014
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has spotlighted Paton Blough on their website, where he has detailed his life’s story. Paton talks of his struggles with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder and how he has worked to overcome it along with the help that NAMI has given him.
Paton Blough is pushing for support and co-sponsors for federal bill, H.R. 3717 “Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013”, on the Russ Cassell show. If you live in the Upstate of South Carolina, please call Trey Gowdy at (202) 225.6030 and let him know you support this bill. If you live elsewhere in the US, simply go to House.gov to find out who your US Representative is and give that person a call or send them an email. Remember this bill will save lives!
Local advocate shares his story
By Amanda Bradford, Staff Writer
Published in the Greer Citizen on November 6th, 2013
Two weeks ago, the Greer Police Department attended Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) where they heard Paton Blough’s story about his struggle with bipolar disorder that led to him being arrested six times.
It’s because of his experience with arrests resulting from his bipolar episodes that Blough believes it’s important for officers to be trained how to properly deal individuals with mental illness, which is the purpose of CIT. According to Blough, South Carolina only requires four hours of training specifically addressing mental illness, but through a free 40-hour CIT course departments can become better equipped to handle these situations, which Blough believes saves lives.