Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son is a frank account from a mother who was a state legislator when her son Jim’s first delusion demanded he kill her, but after he makes a serious suicide attempt she realizes he’s the one in danger. Her seat at the power table allowed her to work to change policies that barred her from saving Jim’s life. She first had to overcome her fear that Jim would be like her beloved grandmother who disappeared into a mental hospital when she was 10.

Given the heightened national interest in mental illness today and the millions of people affected, this book is timely. It spans 20 years and covers new ground about living with schizophrenia, adding a new level and appreciation of the challenges of finding employment, housing and friends. Jim and his parents push the envelope with his illness, including insisting that he return to college and find meaningful work.

Meet Mindy

Mindy Greiling served in the House of Representatives in Minnesota for 20 years, including 14 after her son was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder in 1999. She initiated the first state bipartisan mental health caucus where legislators worked together to pass legislation, including allocating the most annual funding for mental health in Minnesota history up to that date. She has served on the national and state National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) boards and on the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Community Advisory Council. Mindy currently serves serves on the schizophrenia and psychosis action alliance board.

Greiling has received over 80 awards, a quarter of them for her work to improve the mental health system.

Contact Mindy: mindygreiling@gmail.com  

Vail Place Clubhouse International

Mindy is currently leading an advocacy effort towards creating the first-ever Clubhouse International in Ramsey County. This is a successful model found in communities around the world that promotes purpose, employment and social engagement for people with serious mental illnesses, vital to recovery. Task Force members met with Hennepin County Vail Place Clubhouse members to learn about Clubhouses.