Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a retired RN who spent 30 years at the VA hospital in Denver. I have two wonderful children a daughter and son aged 34 and 28. I am the delighted grandfather of a grandson and daughter. My wife and I enjoy gardening and seeing the kids. I stay busy doing improv at local theaters in town. We have a cat named Vincent who rules his world and us. All is good.
How has mental illness affected your life?
My son had a hard time in college and finally moved to Korea to teach English in public schools. Things were wrong at the outset as his communications grew stranger and more infrequent. He moved back after a year but never seemed to be fully present. He returned to Korea after 6 months and I rarely heard from him. After about 8 months he suddenly showed up in Denver unannounced. He had been put on a plane by the authorities and sent back because of his behavior.
He was soon admitted to a hospital psych ward for his first of five admissions in a year’s time. I was his advocate during all the tumult of that year and I am happy to report that he now has a job, a car, a place to live, and takes his meds regularly. The story isn’t over but he has every possibility of a good life.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
I spent the entire year struggling to help my son while learning how to do just that. I self trained myself as he went through his cycles. I know that mental illness affects the entire family of an adult child and I want to give hope to others in that same situation. Things seem dark but a few specific items can be of huge benefit. I’ll talk about ten vital things to know.
Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?
I want to participate in This is My Brave to let other families know that they aren’t alone. The brave stories here can give immeasurable hope when the darkness seems so deep. I hope I can help dispel some of that fear.