Tag Archives: mental health awareness month

Call Me Crazy: You Are Not Alone in this Fight

Cast of Call Me Crazy

Lifetime is premiering a new film this Saturday at 8 PM:  


Call Me Crazy and I can’t wait to see it. I hope you will watch it too.


Here is the description from Lifetime:

Through the five shorts named after each title character — Lucy, Eddie, Allison, Grace and Maggie – powerful relationships built on hope and triumph raise a new understanding of what happens when a loved one struggles with mental illness. “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” stars Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winners Jennifer Hudson, Melissa Leo and Octavia Spencer, Sarah Hyland, Sofia Vassilieva, Brittany Snow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, three-time Emmy Award®-winner Jean Smart, Lea Thompson, Oscar®-nominee Melanie Griffith and Chelsea Handler. Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bonnie Hunt, Ashley Judd and Sharon Maguire direct the anthology

NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) is a partner in this broadcast. They have a launched a new stigma-busting initiative as part of the campaign, encouraging us all to share our stories as part of You Are Not Alone in  This Fight.

As I myself prepare to visit Ohio, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut and Tennessee in the next few weeks to share our story for Mental Health Awareness Month, I am thrilled that the messages will reach way beyond personal travels and speeches to reach the wide viewing public.


Here is the story I shared on the NAMI site:

My son has experienced what I later learned is a fairly typical gradual-onset  pattern toward full-blown, and heartbreaking, schizophrenia. After years of chaos, we have gone through the stages of family emotional acceptance (NAMI Family-to-Family saved us, which is why I now teach and train others to teach it) and have hope once again – but that hope is always guarded, affected by stigma, caution and some sense of loss.

One saving grace comes in realizing we are not alone. Speaking out about family experience brings mental illness into the light, where it belongs. My book Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope was created in part to open eyes, ears and hearts to the family experience – and get schizophrenia out of the closet so we can work on paths toward mental and emotional recovery.

Bravo to Lifetime – I hope this movie can help us take another step away from stigma and toward empathy, acceptance and solutions.

Randye Kaye

Mental Health Awareness Month, Mothers’ Day, and Memoir Readers

mental health awareness monthMay is days away – bringing both Mothers’ Day and  Mental Health Awareness Month. This has me thinking about wonderful readers who have taken the time to share their thoughts with me – and not only those who are affected by mental illness in their families (one in four families, btw- we are “the 25%”), but also those who see Ben Behind His Voices as, to quote the Library Journal review, “a darn good read for memoir fans.”

Sure, I wrote the book to open eyes to the issues surrounding mental illness and the family, and to help others going through it – but under it all, it’s also the story of a mother (and a sister) who refused to give up on someone they love. I don’t have to have

mothers day gift
a gift from Ben, Mothers Day 2011

shoveled coal to appreciate Angela’s Ashes. And I’m glad that many family members in “the 75%” not directly affected by mental illness in a loved one are still writing to say how much the story of family love and strength means to them.

Here are some recent comments. Thank you!!!

Randye Kaye has touched my heart with this book. It’s not just about battling a disease, it’s about a mother’s love for her family and her relentless crusade to help her children to be the best that they can regardless of what obstacles in life are placed in their way. Randye brings you into her family circle and writes with such emotion that you feel that you are experiencing every high and low with her. It’s a story of courage, of never giving up, of hope. It is a story of inspiration that leaves you feeling that although life does not always turn out the way you hope, it can be ok. This book is not just for families of children battling mental illness, it’s for all parents who face different challenges with their children. I could not put the book down once I started it. Such an incredible story. I hope there is a sequel so we can see how Ben is coping a few years from now. Great book for all, I would highly recommend reading it. – ESM, latest customer review on Amazon

It isn’t often that I spend a little more than a day finishing a book. I usually have 2 or 3 books going at once and I finish them as the spirit moves me…I was truly moved by your story. – MS, Chicago reader

What strikes me most about the story is the reserve of human endurance and the depths of love and resilience of the family…And Ben: how courageous he is and what it takes to manage the disorder comes through on the pages. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month, Mothers’ Day, and Memoir Readers