Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

"When Medicine Got It Wrong" on PBS

By Bob Carolla, J.D., Director of Media Relations at the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health Month is a good time to reflect on how far the movement for people with disabilities and their families has come -- particularly in overcoming myths and stereotypes.

This month, along with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in October, is an important time for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to conduct public education activities to build awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with mental health needs.

A key fact to consider is that “mental health” and “mental illness” are points on a continuum. One in five Americans experiences mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most severe, chronic conditions.

This year, PBS stations around the country will air When Medicine Got It Wrong, a documentary about NAMI’s origins as a grassroots movement and founding as a national organization. It’s about ordinary people who "rocked the halls of medicine," challenging long-held beliefs and rebelling against psychiatric theories that blamed schizophrenia on bad parenting. Their activism helped revolutionize treatment.

Many PBS stations will show the film on Mother’s Day, because in the 1960s and 70s, textbooks perpetuated the myth of the “schizophrenogenic mother” as the cause of mental illness. The documentary will air through MIAW in October, so check your local public television broadcast dates and times at


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3:08 AM  

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