© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

This author wants families dealing with severe mental illness to know 'you're not alone'

Ways To Subscribe
gadiel-lazcano-ulPAVuxITEw-unsplash.jpg
Gadiel Luzcano
/
Unsplash
The book "Beyond Madness" aims to explain what we know about mental illness in a way that everyday people can understand.

In the book "Beyond Madness: The Pain and Possibilities of Serious Mental Illness," author Rachel Pruchno describes what life is like for the more than 13 million Americans living with serious mental illness.

As a psychologist whose daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager, Rachel Pruchno, is deeply familiar with what life can be like for those facing serious mental illnesses.

Pruchno, a decades-long mental health professional with a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies, says while there's a lot we don't know about serious mental illness, there's a lot we do know. The problem, she believes, is taking that information and presenting it in a useful way for those going through these struggles.

"That information, that knowledge, does not get to the people who need it," she explains. "It doesn't get to the families who are struggling and don't know what to do when somebody says they're thinking about harming themselves. It doesn't get to the teachers in our community, the clergy, the police, who often are the first responders."

The book features a series of real-world vignettes highlighting what it is like to experience a mental health crisis: both for the person living it, and for those around them.

Pruchno says for family and close friends of those with serious mental illnesses, developing patience and perseverance is of the utmost importance.

"I think that people need to be prepared for a long journey to find good care." says Pruchno. "But I think what's really important — and I wish I had known that at the time — is that you're not alone. You're not the only person going through this."

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.