Nowhere to Go: 60 Minutes on “Mentally ill Youth in Crisis”


60 Minutes‘ Scott Pelley investigates the lack of crisis- or long-term care for people facing serious mental health challenges, as seen through the eyes of Senator Craig Deeds. Deeds’ son Gus stabbed him several times before committing suicide.” The vast majority of mental patients are not violent,” Pelley says, “But this is a story about the fraction who are a danger to themselves or others.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. What got me in this video was how the father did not seem to know how to communicate with his son. After being rejected at the hospital, he just returned home , ate dinner in silence (no communication) with his son at the table , let him go to bed in silence and in the morning chores til the attack the same ..
    I think he could have hired a survivor or an expert who could have taught him how to dialogue – perhaps long before the end.

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    • Hired a survivor, that’s brilliant. Maybe I could have talked this kid down, explained how his father was mislead by a multi billion dollar psychiatric industry into believing that a psych lockup and chemical restraints called “meds” was actual help and he didn’t know any better.

      We need to ask one more simple question to determine “what could have set the teenage attacker off.” That question is: What psychiatric drug was he taking or withdrawing from? Sometimes simple questions are the hardest to ask. That question would be hard for the media to ask, because after reporting the event, taking station breaks for advertisements for antidepressants and sedatives might give big media editors and producers indigestion, since their very existence depends on Big Pharma sponsorship. That question would be hard for some politicians to ask because it might jeopardize pharmaceutical company campaign contributions …

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    • Good observation. Speaking as a parent, it takes years to come to grips with what is going on, with very little insight or help provided by “the professionals.” Your suggestion of hiring an expert is light years ahead of where most parents are, which is in the dark. Most parents, most people, have only heard that mental illness is a brain disease that requires only a medical intervention. Many parents are resistant to the idea that better communication skills are needed. (Remember why NAMI got started.) Courses like Recovering Our Families, which teach empathy and good communication skills, are a relatively new thing, accessible via the Internet for a modest fee. By the time someone is at a crisis point, as was Gus, it would be foolish to risk it. For me, each hospitalization for my son meant a failure, so his getting out was the chance to work on good communication skills, etc.

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  2. Regarding the Senator vs son story. I ask “Who is/was the king of the castle?” The son should have left “home”, he did not need psychiatric drugs or psychiatric (pre-crime) imprisonment.

    As I understand it, the proposal is to keep suspected “mentally ill” persons for a longer time period in the hospital-that-is-not-a-jail.

    Could you get angry? You are not allowed to get angry for receiving help, helping medical intervention.

    This extended hold time will guarantee an angry outburst ( at losing ones freedom), the anger expressed at the injustice will either put the person in jail, or labeled “psychotic” and forcefully medicated/drugged.
    The system is perfect.

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  3. I think or almost know Gus attacked his father in revenge for turning him over for unwanted psychiatric abuse. It is a betrayal of sorts.

    The police come, snatch you up , you are brought to the hospital and strip searched, thoroughly dehumanized and then forced to take brain disabling drugs like Haldol. The ultimate insult to injury is this is all called “help”.

    All anyone needs to do to understand this story a little bit is to hang around the telephones in a psych lockup. The calls start with people calling there families pleading “help get me out of here” followed by the families telling them they need to stay to get so called help followed by the ‘patients’ despair and then hateful words towards there families for “letting them do this to me”.

    I guess to truly understand all this one needs to take a dose of the “medication” given as so called help, Haldol is anything but comforting or “helpful”. Its disabling and very scary.

    I met a psychiatric prisoner who told me how he just got the teeth on the left side of his mouth extracted to stop him from biting his tongue cause of Tardive dyskinesia caused by Haldol just hours before I was told I would be injected by force if I didn’t take Haldol as by mouth ordered myself.

    And yes that threat of injection did induce feelings of intense hatred towards those who made the threats at me. Of course these hateful feelings and my reation to this abuse was labeled on my chart as a symptom of the ‘illness’ I was accused of.

    How did I find myself In a situation like that ? I drank to much over stress and went to the E.R by my own free will sick and dehydrated and my family who was contacted told them I was “bipolar” cause the doctor who turned me into a benzo addict said that to cover his ass years before. This bipolar accusation changed everything, I was no longer human.

    This was a UHS run hospital so who knows.

    More on UHS

    One thing I know I know as a person who has experienced “crisis” is a place is needed where people can go that does not involve human rights abuses and disabling chemical restraint drugs called help.

    We can do better.

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    • Like I wrote” Who is the king of the castle”, if you don’t obey the king/queen you get into trouble.
      To be a “king” you must have your own money, as in an income, incoming money.

      If you have no income, you can not be a king, or a ruler in your own life.

      As a psychiatric patient you no longer have self ownership, a psychiatrist owns you.

      They wonder why the “mentally ill” drink and smoke themselves to death.

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    • “I think or almost know Gus attacked his father in revenge for turning him over for unwanted psychiatric abuse. It is a betrayal of sorts.”

      Yes, I guess after thinking it over , that part is clear. Now the father had no suspicion of this -he was a complete blank. So that is strange, unless you start thinking… well here it is, what was wrong in the relationship – emotional repression taken as normal. He’s sitting there,at dinner , perhaps uncomfortable that his son is not talking but “no anger” is the normal, nothing wrong there, been taken care of or suffocated a long time ago.So it finally spilled over into violence and the father still doesn’t understand.

      Doesn’t take much emotional repression for a personality to get squashed and splintered. There may have been other things wrong but there was this one thing wrong there somewhat certain..

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