News and Events

May 2, 2013 –  Houma, Louisiana – presentation to South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority  and public:  Family Challenges in Schizophrenia Crisis and Recovery

April 25, 2013 -Nashville, TN – company conference on mental health (not open to public), panel presentation– “It was a pleasure  hearing your insights as you shared your story on-stage during the Changing Perspectives Workshop. We really enjoyed working with you to build this great workshop that was so well received by the attendees. .. thank you for your contributions and your boundless enthusiasm.” -Patricia Schindelheim, The Debut Group

February 5-6, 2013 – Keynote, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Palm Springs CA – “I want to thank you for the inspiring and motivating talk.  I received very positive feedback from many who attended.  Many in other divisions were struck by the devastation that this disease has on the patient, the care giver and the family.   Our Psychiatry sales force was also very appreciative and could have asked you questions for several hours. patty- Jazz PHarmaWithout having met you but having read your book, I knew that you would be inspiring to the audience at the National Sales Meeting….your story inspired our entire sales force to continue working hard to “bring value to life” for patients and caregivers alike.  I can’t begin to tell you how moved other members of the company from other sales divisions were to hear your story—it really helped put a face on schizophrenia and the many challenges and hurdles faced by all concerned.”- Bob, Jazz Pharma

January 24, 2013 – 7:30 PM Featured Speaker, NAMI Stamford CT – “Your presentation last night was fantastic! You really are a master of balancing your personal story with concrete, helpful suggestions and inspiration.” – Barbara Thrasher

December 19, 2012, 7 PM EST – Guest, Conversation Crossroad radio

November 27 – Dec. 31, 2012 – guest on radio shows including National Show It’s Your Health, also morning shows including KCMN-AM, WDRC-AM, WDIS-AM, WFIN-AM,WBIG-AM,  WCUB-AM, WBZ-AM Boston, and more!

November 17, 2012 – Trumbull, CT  “Breakfast and Artists” guest speaker, Holy Cross Lutheran Church

NAMI NYS 2012November 10, 2012 – Albany, NY – NAMI NYS State Conference, keynote speaker – “Randye delivered a heartfelt and inspiring talk…which deeply resonated with our audience. They raved about her presentation and she received extremely high marks on the attendee evaluation forms…Randye serves as an empathetic voice of hope.” – DonaldCapone, Executive Director NAMI NYS

November 8-11, 2012 – San Diego, CA – US Psych Congress

November 3, 2012 – Family-to-Family Day, Hartford CT, Keynote Presenter – “Her speech was very inspiring and educated families going through hard times, especially coping with mental illness in a loved one.” – Pamela Bayona

October 23, 2012 – Westport, CT – From Stigma to Stability: Changing Minds About Mental Illness

October 6, 2012 – NAMI Mercer County, NJ – Keynote speaker,  “The SEARCH for Hope” 4thAnnual Harvest of Hope Conference. – also presented “Happier Made Simple – Empowering the Mind Body and Spirit” as interactive breakout workshop

October 3-4, 2012University at Mount Union, Ohio – Guest Speaker, Mental Health Students – “I loved having you here. I could still hear students talking about it this morning in the hall. One said, “she’s such a powerful role model”.   Our Abnormal Psychology professor said his kids were totally engaged and it was a really important experience for them.” – Tamara Daily, psychology professor “Movies and Madness”

Keynote RKayeSeptember 20, 2012 –  Glen Oaks, NY – Book reading and keynote: “Why Community Matters in Recovery” – Zucker Hillside Hospital for Venture House (ICCD Clubhouse) – “Randye your presentation was wonderful it’s the buzz of morning meeting at Venture House!Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Pauline Nichols Anderson

September 9, 2012 – Jaki’s Buzz Radio Show – 6 PM –

Randye kaye JakisBuzz 090912 by RandyeKayeVO
September 5, 2012 – NAMI Fairfield Panel: “Self-Stigma Solutions” in Mental Illness – “Your ability to weave together our comments helped a whole lot. We weren’t just four people spouting separate accounts on self stigma. Your points about not bowing to popular expectations, how we should consider the messenger when stigmatized, the success you see in your son holding down his job were right on, and I’m sure much appreciated by the attendees.” – Richard Weingarten

August 20-21, 2012 – CIT International Conference, Las Vegas – book signing, exhibit hall (450 copies signed! Sunovion booth)

August 3, 2012 Mending Hearts Blog Radio Show – listen here – or available on i-Tunes

July 25, 2012 – Bridgeport Hospital (CT) Interdisciplinary Grand Rounds: Listen Up! Hearing the Family’s Perspective on Illness – ” I truly appreciated your candor, your humor, and your heart in speaking on this topic. I’d like to think I pride myself on empathy and compassion with all my patients, but I know after hearing you speak, I will double my efforts, all around, no matter the condition. Thanks again for a really worth while and inspiring talk.” – Lauren, OTR

June 29, 2012 -10:15 AM, “How Telling Your Story Can Make an Impact and Help Create Change” presentation at NAMI National Convention, Seattle WA – with Susan Inman, author of After Her Brain Broke


June 22, 2012 – PPAL (Parent/Professional Advocacy LeagueThe Massachusetts Family Voice for Children’s Mental Health) Keynote Speaker,  Conference and Celebrationfeedback:

“96.3% of those who completed an evaluation stated they were, “very satisfied with your information, preparation and understandability. In addition to the ratings, I thought you might like to read some ofthe written comments attendant to your presentation and I have listed them below.

o “excellent presentation”
o “she was very inspiring and incredible…have her come back again”
o “loved how she shared the journey of her son…realistic, well done”
o “empowering”
o “I loved her sense of humor”
o “outstanding speaker and presenter”
o “Very well spoken. I’m really happy to have heard her speak.”
o “empowering/full of empathy”
o “awesome speaker”
o “Very informative and inspirational.” “

May 17, 2012 – 4-7 PM Keynote speaker, Bridge House, Bridgeport CT – “Your presence and presentation to us at our family and friends celebration at Bridge House is an experience that will energize us for a long time to come. As a mother of a son who lives with a mental illness you truly reached out and touched all of the parents and family members of our community. We felt the wisdom of your experiences and the love in which you lived them. Your support and heartfelt concern for all of us has helped us to continue to be loving and caring for all whom we share life with that deal with mental illness everyday. Thank you for sharing your book with us.” –

May 4-7, 2012 – APA Annual Convention The Importance of Building a Therapeutic Alliance in Schizophrenia” with Psychiatrist  Peter J. Weiden, M.D. -” Your presentation was outstanding!I learned a lot and you have have a true gift for communication and education thru narrative.” – Dr. Weiden

April 26, 2012 –  Keynote Speaker, Kennedy Center Inc Annual Awards Dinner – Bridgeport CT – “Randye, you delivered an inspirational keynote address and perfectly incorporated the theme Creating Hope, Celebrating Potential. Your heartfelt speech made the evening very memorable, for which I am grateful.” – Martin Schwartz, CEO

April 14-17, 2012 National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference, Chicago – Presentation, “In My Own Words: Personal Stories of Recovery.”

feedback: Speaker Rating:     (3.7 / 4)  —Session Comments:

  • This was a good personal account.
  • Randye is an excellent communicator, honest and from the heart
  • This session showed me the how it feels on the other side of schizophrenia
  • fabulous speaker. your story touched me in many ways. I teared up many times. thanks for sharing your story.
  • Inspirational
  • a more sensitive care giver
  • Taught me how to have more empathy and understanding of the family’s experience of supporting an individual with mental illness.
  • when staff feel they are not helping, remind them SEARCH
  • Being more mindful of the impact MI has on the family members
  • Gained awareness of stages families go through in acknowledging mental illness.
  • Know better the ups and downs of families who struggle with a member who is mentally ill
  • A better understanding
  • I want to engage the families of the peers i work with more. this lead to some great ideas on how to do so.
  • It made me look at how I work with parents differently and how impactful my words can be.”

April 16, 2012 – 7 PM – Additional presentation Chicago – Main Street Recreation Center,   Glen Ellyn – Hosted By: Western DuPage Special Recreation Association – “My coworkers here at the office are still talking about it today and all agree your story was very powerful to hear. It takes a talented person like yourself to be able to balance humor, education and ones’ personal story into a presentation and you did that beautifully. Please know that you are an inspiration to others and you made a difference to many.” – Dana Stewart, WDSRA

April 10, 2012 – Boston,  community lecture/book readingWhy Community Matters in Mental Illness Recovery”Gould Farm event – Public Library Brookline, 361 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445 “Thanks again for the Gould farm event the Board members were very happy and there’s been tremendous feedback. ” – Pauline

April 3, 2012 – 5-7 PM – Keynote speaker at Artists Reception,VOICES ART EXHIBIT SEEKS TO RAISE AWARENESS AND CELEBRATE THE LIVES OF YOUTH TOUCHED BY MENTAL ILLNESS – Legislative Office Building, 300 Capital Avenue in Hartford, CT – Exhibit continues through April 13th, 9-5 PM; also keynote speak for Families Anonymous meeting. “Just a quick thank you from all of us at FA;your talk was absolutely fantastic, even better than I imagined. Several people commented afterwards, saying how great it was and how, because you spoke from the heart, we could all relate.”

March 8, 2012 Community Lecture in Phoenix AZ at ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus,
Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Arizona State University – presentation for Community-Based Mental Health Groups

March 4, 2012 – 4-6 PM – Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue – West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764-1898 – for Shore Clubhouse – “Thank you so much, Randye. The response to your reading has been amazing!” – Susan Sandlass

Feb 15, 2012 – 7 pm – Book Reading/Signing/Presentation: “What Families Need When Mental Illness Strikes” NAMI CT Southeast – Norwich, CT

Feb. 8, 2012 – 6:30 PM – Fairfield University, Dolan School of Business Room 110A, book reading and discussion with Fairfield University nursing students and community,

Feb 2, 2012 – Quota Meeting, Yale Graduate Center, New Haven CT. 5:30 PM Book reading and author talk.

December 11, 2011 Connecticut Press Club Holiday Party & Author Readings, 1-3 PM, Norwalk, CT

December 9, 2011Shabbat by the Book, Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport CT dinner, services, program

November 29,2011 – 7 PM- Book reading/signing, RJ Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road (Rt 1), Madison, CT 06443 –

Your reading last night was very moving. You have such an inviting, unpretentious presence. And the stories you told sent shivers up my spine and some tears, as well. I can’t wait to read the entire book.”- Alice Stitelman, Ph.D., Stitelman Associates

November 17, 2011: Book reading/discussion, Fairfield CT Public Library/NAMI book club

“Thank you for the wonderful book talk on Thursday.  It was moving and hopeful and delivered with so much grace. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback.I hope this book goes on to help many more families struggling with mental illness–and to enlighten those who aren’t.” -Rebecca Fletcher

November 8-9, 2011 – book signing, US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, Las Vegas, NV-

I received your book at the recent conference.  I just finished reading it:  it was amazing – I couldn’t put it down! Thank you for the courage to tell your and your son’s story.  Your openness and honesty has reminded me again of the frailty of life, but also the hope that there is help.” – Jack Mahdasian, psychiatrist in Grand Rapids, MI.

November 6, 2011author talk/book signing, 2 pm, Written Words Bookstore , Shelton CT –

Written Words Bookstore – Shelton CT

“I’d like to thank you again for spending a delightful Sunday with us. You provided much food for thought and you certainly succeeded in providing voice to the voice-less and often misunderstood.” – Dorothy Sim-Broder, owner

October 26, 2011, 7 PM – Author Talk/Reading, Q&A – Barnes and Noble, Westport, CT “Your presentation at B & N was terrific. The right mix of humor even in the face of devastation – and addressing the need for all who have a family member suffering from mental illness (or any illness) to have support, to be educated, and to find reasons to remain hopeful did, I’m sure, hit home for many and are so essential for audiences to hear. BRAVO!”- L.A. Shapiro

October 21, 2011 APNA (American Psychiatric Nurses Assn) Presentation “The Importance of Building a Therapeutic Alliance in Schizophrenia” -with Mary D. Moller, DNP, ARNP and Sunovion Pharmecauticals  Los Angeles, CA

October 12,2011 – 7 pm , author talk/reading, Q&A Trumbull Library, Trumbull CT – Thank you for such a moving presentation about your story and the story of so many others. It must be gratifying to offer help to others as we witnessed during the Q&A.” Nicole Cignoli, Trumbull Library

September, 2011taped interview with PBS To the Contrary (watch for air dates)

October 6, 2011: Keynote Speaker, Awards/Awareness Dinner, NAMI Waterbury CT and Guardian Ad Litem Services “Randye, thank you for sharing your touching story of love for your son, who is valuable! “- Veronica Rinaldi,

October 10, 2011 Keynote Speaker, Family Day Celebration Symposium, Institute of Living, Hartford CT – It was a pleasure to have you as our Key Speaker, I know that everyone enjoyed it , I know I did, as well as people I work with. It was very educational,real and moving. – Nelly Abkowicz,

September 20, 2011 – Book Launch to Benefit Laurel House, Stamford, CT – Keynote/Book Reading

September 7, 2011 – guest, “Let’s Talk Live”, News 8 Arlington, VA (ABC Affiliate)

July 8, 2011 – NAMI National Convention –  Presentation, “SEARCH – What Families Need When Mental Illness Strikes”

June 16, 2011 – Keynote Speaker: “Building Respect, Celebrating Potential with Employment Opportunities for those With Disabilities” DMHAS, Kennedy Center and Goodwill Industries luncheon – Your Story brought hope and inspiration to all the individuals there and proved to everyone how critical family participation is in a person’s journey to recovery.

Fiona Jones, Kennedy Center Inc.,presentation

June 9, 2011 – Fellowship Place, keynote presentation “Community Matters in Mental Illness Recovery” Thank you for being our featured guest speaker. Your story was informative, moving and thought provoking. I know there are many families who will learn from your courageous story and be better able to support and advocate for their children after reading about your experiences.

Mary Guerrera, Exec. Director,

I was at your reading tonight at the Ridgefield Public Library and I must say “Well done, sensitive and informative.” I have always admired your strength, fortitude and talent. A consummate communicator, you have touched and helped many people with your story. You offer hope, compassion and understanding to those who are embroiled in similar circumstances and that is a very special gift indeed.

– Peter Grobe, photographer

I found your family story very moving. On my summer reading list is Ben & you.

-Ray Andrewsen, General Manager,AM 1220 WQUN

Congrats on your book…I was on amazon and read the few pages that I could.  It was frustrating because I was hooked and wanted to read more.  Please know I feel this is an IMPORTANT work, and should be read by a lot of people.

-Jack Rushen, Playwright

Randye blogs about Family Matters in Mental Illness and Recovery here:

Ben Behind His Voices, the blog

and here: Mental Illness in the Family,

Please come and visit, comment, follow – and spread the message of understanding, respect, and hope.

Here’s what some followers have had to say about it:

I love the way you write, the things you write about and the positive attitude that shines through your blog. I am glad to have joined up. ..Keep writing and keep up the good work!

I just found your blog, Randye, and will be doing lots of reading to catch up on your and Ben’s story. My son also has schizophrenia, so what you write really speaks to me. ..Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I ran across your site by accident. We first learned that our child was hearing voices when he drove himself to the hospital at the age of 26… I’ve been fairly stoic about the situation, but my eyes welled up with tears, when I read what you wrote about having lost part of your son’s former personality, and that for those of us who have experienced the illness, “no further explanation is necessary.” Unfortunately, I know exactly what you mean… Thank you for providing hope.

I am just starting on this journey with my fiance’s son. Your blog fills me alternatively with dread and with hope. I know the journey will be long and fraught with pitfalls and here I thought it had been trying up till now. Thanks for writing – can’t wait to read your book.

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