Rosalynn Carter

  • Aired:  05/04/10
  •  | Views: 47,958

Rosalynn Carter says the mental health situation in America is no better than when she started working in the field 39 years ago. (7:28)

>> WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT FORMER FIRST LADY OF THESE UNITED STATES.

HER NEW BOOK IS CALLED "WITHIN OUR REACH: ENDING THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS."

PLEASE WELCOME ROSALYNN.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NICE TO MEET YOU.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

SO NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> GLAD TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

>> WE'RE DELIGHTED.

I'M SO TIRED OF TALKING TO YOUR HUSBAND.

[LAUGHTER]

SO NICE TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM.

>> I'M GLAD BE HERE.

>>

>> Jon: YOU'VE BEEN WORKING IN MENTAL HEALTH AND BEING AN

ADVOCATE SINCE PRESIDENT CARTER WAS A GOVERNOR, IS THAT CORRECT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

39 YEARS.

I STOPPED COUNTING.

>> Jon: HAVE YOU FELT PROGRESS FOR THE UNITED STATES?

DO YOU FEEL LIKE OUR MENTAL HEALTH IS STRONGER?

ARE WE MORE AWARE OR LESS AWARE?

HOW DO YOU SUM IT UP?

>> I'VE BEEN WORKING IN THE FIELD FOR 39 YEARS.

AND MENTAL HEALTH SITUATION IS NO BETTER THAN IT WAS WHEN I STARTED.

>> Jon: REALLY?

IS IT YOUR FAULT OR NO?

[LAUGHTER]

>> WELL, I WAS THINKING THAT MAYBE I FAILED.

>> Jon: NOT AT ALL.

THE FACT THAT YOU'VE HAD THE PRESENCE OF MIND AND TENACITY TO STAY WITH IT WHEN IT'S SO

FRUSTRATING --

>> I'VE BEEN WORKING ON MENTAL HEALTH SINCE PEOPLE IN THOSE BIG

INSTITUTIONS AND THERE WERE EXPOSE�S ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

AND COMMUNITY HEALTH BILL PASSED IN 1966.

I CAMPAIGNED FOR JIMMY IN 1966.

THEY WERE MOVING PEOPLE OUT BEFORE THERE WERE COMMUNITY CENTERS AVAILABLE.

EVERY DAY SOMEBODY ASKED ME WHAT MY HUSBAND WOULD DO FOR LOVED ONES AT CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL.

ONE NIGHT I WAS AT A -- WE HAD A DISORGANIZED CAMPAIGN THAT TIME.

>> Jon: THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE THE GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

ANYWAY, I WENT TO A RALLY AND HE WAS THERE.

IT WAS DISORGANIZED.

WE GO IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS RIDING AROUND.

HE WAS COMING TO THE SAME TOWN.

I GOT IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM AND I GOT IN LINE WITH PEOPLE AND I WENT UP TO SHAKE HIS HAND.

HE TOOK MY HAND AND SAID, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

SO I SAID I CAME TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTHAL -- MENTAL

ILLNESS WHEN YOU ARE GOVERNOR.

>> HE SAID WE'LL HAVE THE BEST PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY AND I'LL

PUT YOU IN CHARGE OF IT.

>> Jon: THANK GOD.

IMAGINE HE SAID, SECURITY AND THEN THE HULLABALOO THAT ENSUED.

JIMMY CARTER THROWS ROSALYNN OUT OF A RALLY.

HAS BEEN BEEN EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO SUFFER BECAUSE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND MENTAL HEALTH BETTER.

PEOPLE WOULD PUT SOMEONE AWAY WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AWAY.

>> WE DIDN'T DEINSTITUTIONALIZE WE INSTITUTIONALIZED.

THE JAILS AND PRISONS ARE THE LARGEST MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES IN THE COUNTRY.

YOU CAN GET MONEY FOR PRISONS NOT MENTAL HEALTH.

I WROTE THIS BOOK BECAUSE I'M SO FRUSTRATED.

>> Jon: YOU SEEM LIKE YOU CAN ABOUT TO BECOME VIOLENT.

I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT THIS IS -- THERE ARE CHILDREN WATCHING AND I DON'T WANT TO

HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE RESTRAIN YOU.

>> BUT I HAD A GOVERNOR COMMISSION, A PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ADD A REALLY GOOD

PROGRAM AT THE CARTER FOUNDATION AND ONE OF OUR PROGRAMS IS MENTAL HEALTH FOR JOURNALISTS.

>> Jon: FOR TRAUMATIC STRESS.

>> IT'S FOR THE SUBJECT.

SOME OF THEM HAVE PTSD.

I THOUGHT IF YOU APPLIED I WOULD BE SURE WE CHOSE YOU.

4R56 LAUGH.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: VERY KIND OF YOU.

THANK YOU.

AS LONG AS I DON'T HAVE TO WRITE AN ESSAY, I WOULD BE FINE.

>> I WANTED TO COME TO SEE YOU BECAUSE I NEED HELP.

>> Jon: ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ADVOCATES.

>> OUR STIGMA IS SO BAD.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE IN YOUR AUDIENCE, I DON'T MEAN HERE, I MEAN THAT WATCH YOU.

>> Jon: ARE MENTALLY ILL?

>> ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS.

>> Jon: ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO CLASSIFY NOW?

IS IT PEOPLE THAT SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION OR IS IT A SPECTRUM --

>> IT'S A SPECTRUM, DEPRESSION,

SCHIZOPHRENIA, BIPOLAR, ANXIETY,

ALL KINDS OF MENTAL ILLNESS.

>> Jon: IS THE IDEA TO ALLOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR LIVES.

WHAT IS THE EFFICACY OF THESE THERAPIES?

HAVE YOU FOUND NOT A MAGIC BULLET BUT A MIX A COCKTAIL THAT WORKS BEST FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE

FALLEN DOWN THIS --

>> NO X-RAYS, NO BLOOD TESTS,

NOTHING LIKE THIS.

LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING FROM THE BOOK.

RECOVERY.

PEOPLE CAN RECOVER NOW.

>> Jon: THEY CAN?

>> THEY CAN.

>> Jon: AND YOU'VE SEEN THIS.

>> I HAVE.

>> Jon: PEOPLE GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE AND THEY NEVER SEEM TO COME BACK.

MAYBE WE EXPECT TOO MUCH.

>> SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

THE SAD PART IS WE HAVEN'T TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF IT.

WE'VE GOT NEW MEDICATIONS BECAUSE OF RESEARCH ON THE BRAIN.

PEOPLE CAN LEAD -- PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES CAN LEAD FULFILLING LIVES.

BUT WE ALSO -- THERE'S A CONSUMER MOVEMENT THAT CONSUMERS GOT TOGETHER, SOME THAT HAVE HAD

BAD SITUATIONS WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM AND STARTING TALKING ABOUT HELPING EACH OTHER.

AND NOW THEY ARE INVOLVED -- THEY ALL SHOULD BE BUT NOT -- IT'S BEGINNING TO HAPPEN --

INVOLVED THE CONSUMERS WITH SOMEONE LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN TREATMENT.

AFPD I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE RECOVER THAT HAVE LIVED WITH BIPOLAR FOR TEN YEARS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> Jon: MAYBE WITH ALL THE FRUSTRATION AND ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS MAYBE THAT KEEPS YOU

GOING, THAT PROGRESS.

>> ONE THING THAT IS REALLY DIFFICULT IS THE MEDIA.

>> Jon: RIGHT?

WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME?

>> WELL, THAT'S WHY I CAME TO SEE YOU.

>> Jon: BECAUSE THE STIGMA BECAUSE OF WHAT IS PUT OUT THERE?

>> WHEN THERE'S AN INCIDENT.

IF YOU LOOK AT THEM ALMOST WITHOUT EXCEPTION IT'S THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM THAT FAILED THEM.

>> Jon: THAT'S THE SYSTEM THAT HAS TO BE REFORMED.

>> WE HAVE TO HAVE YOU SAY GOOD THINGS AND IF YOU GET MY FELLOWSHIP, YOU CAN -- WE CAN

TEACH YOU A LOT.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: I COULD CERTAINLY LEARN A LOT.

I WOULD LIKE A FELLOWSHIP.

WITHIN OUR REACH ROSALYNN -- YOU KNOW YOU WORK IN THIS FIELD AND YOUR -- YOU'RE FILLED WITH GOODNESS.

YOU DON'T MEET A LOT OF PEOPLE AND YOU THINK THAT PERSON IS FILLED WITH||||

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