Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Home for Ben Behind His Voices

News! This is the former site of the blog for "Ben Behind His Voices: One Family's Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope" Please go to its new address,, where you can follow, subscribe, and see reviews, news and events! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ben Behind His Voices, blog: New Address reminder!

Hi my dear followers -
 Just reminding you that my most recent posts can be found at the new site for this blog, Ben Behind His Voices blog. I hope you will follow there for updates, excerpts, news, and to join the conversation about issues and emotions when mental illness strikes the family.

Happy to tell you that Ben Behind His Voices is receiving some great advance reviews! You can preorder, and also peek inside, on Amazon here: Ben Behind His Voices on Amazon

There is also a facebook page and group (all "likes" most welcome!)- and the book's website. So once again thanks for following here and I hope you will continue to follow, read, share, and tell your friends.

Thanks you - see you at the new address!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ben Behind His Voices Blog: New Address to Continue the Conversation

Thanks so much for following and commenting on this blog, whether you've been here from the start or have just discovered it.  Early this month (June 2011) the site content was moved to a new URL, easier to find as part of the new website for Ben Behind His Voices.

 My publisher suggested this would be an easier address for people to find the blog, and the book info, when they search.  I'll keep this site active for a few more weeks, and then will remove the content as it has been republished at the new address.

 Please check this new site for the latest posts, and I hope you'll subscribe/follow there to stay in touch - and, as always, spread the word to anyone who might want to be part of this growing community.  Thanks so much!
And, of course, I continue to blog about the issues that affect families dealing with mental illness at, a terrific resource for many topics in physucal and mental health.  I invite you to check out their site for blogs, info, interviews and other content.  My blog there is called "Mental Illness in the Family"

Friday, June 3, 2011

Schizophrenia and Family: Walking the Tightrope of Recovery

Recovery in mental illness is possible, yes - but is often a tightrope walk for all involved: consumers, family, friends, providers.  To paraphrase Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, "Respect must be paid."

This is an excerpt from today's radio interview with Ray Andrewsen of WQUN AM in Hamden, CT, where he asks me about our family experience as schizophrenia developed in my son Ben.

Next Thursday, June 9, I'm honored to be the keynote speaker for Fellowship Place in New Haven, CT, one of many organizations providing much-needed support and community for those with mental illness. . 

Eighth Annual Doctor Albert J. Solnit Memorial Lecture

Advance ticket purchase is required. Tickets are $25.00 each. To purchase tickets, please click on the link on the left or call Melissa Holroyd at 203-401-4227 x111. All proceeds to benefit housing and support services to adults who suffer from chronic mental illness.
 more info: Hope to see you there if you can make it!
Fellowship Place to host our 8th Annual Dr. Albert J. Solnit Memorial Lecture: a discussion with  Author Randye Kaye, Thursday June 9, 2011 at 7:00pm, at the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium of Yale University, 53 Wall Street, New Haven.  
Join us for a conversation with Randye Kaye, based on her book "Ben Behind His Voices: One Family's Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope", to be published by Rowman and Littlefield in September 2011.  Kaye will share with the audience her experiences with her son who suffers from schizophrenia, how mental Illness affects the whole family and how they helped guide him on his recovery journey as he went from 7 hospitalizations to now 4 semesters on the Deans List at his school.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Independent Living and Mental Illness: How Much, How Soon?

When a hug could fix everything...
I've spent a good part of this afternoon yelling at the people who are supposed to be supporting my son as he completes his first two weeks in "supported independent living." This was determined to be the next logical step after doing so well in his group home - that's what they told me, anyway.

Yeah. sure. Where is the support? In these two weeks, he has become isolated when not at work, has clearly (to us) somehow cheecked his meds twice, and has "forgotten" to show up for morning meds once.  He also missed an appointment with his caseworker. This, too, he "forgot"  - and they caseworker let it slide. After the initial move-in rush, Ben has not finished unpacking. I'll bet there are roaches crawling over unwashed dishes in his sink.  I hope not, but let's just say I have concerns.

Why? Well, it could be the stress of too much change too soon. After seven years in Harrison House - where he had 24/7 staffing, 7 housemates, required chores and meetings, and someone to be accountable to - Ben now is expected to live alone, and "take responsibility."  Except for showing up twice a day to take meds, he is left to his own schedule, his own decisions, his own life. Ben has lost his community, his sense of purpose, his structure and his parental figures.  All without gradual steps. It's like they threw him down a flight of stairs and said good luck.