In 2019, Taun Hall’s 18 year-old son, Miles, was in the midst of a mental health crisis in their affluent, suburban community of Walnut Creek, California. The police responded, and within 30 seconds, Miles was shot and killed. What would have happened if Taun called 988 instead of 911? Would Miles still be alive? With insight from Taun Hall, Tom Insel, Dr. Altha Stewart, and Asantewaa Boykin, Stephanie explores how we got stuck with such a fractured system in the first place, the human toll, particularly in communities of color, and how communities are fighting to build better solutions for all. Zak Williams, our Special Service Correspondent, joins with specific actions we can take in the fight.
Check out the guide from NAMI to learn how to navigate a crisis and the JED Foundation on how to talk to your friends who might be struggling.
Mental Health x Criminal Justice
Explore the intersection between mental health and criminal justice.
Support Our Guests
Learn more about Taun Hall’s work getting 988 policy passed in her community, and read about what Asantewaa Boykin is doing to make mental health crisis response more accessible.
Call For Help is a Lemonada Media original presented by Sozosei Foundation. Hosting and story editing were done by me, Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Our producers are Alie Kilts and Alexa Lim. Tess Novotny is our associate producer. Natasha Jacobs is our engineer and sound designer. Music is by Xander Singh with additional music by Natasha Jacobs. Naomi Barr is our fact checker. Executive producers are Zak Williams, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me. We are so grateful to our show sponsors The Jed Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness and The Just Trust. And a special thanks to Chrystal Genesis and Jackie Danziger for additional support.
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Tom Insel, Taun Hall, Asantewaa Boykin, Altha Stewart, Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Zak Williams
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 00:22
In this series, we talk openly about issues related to mental health. Some stories include mentions of suicide and homicide, please take care of while listening. And for a list of resources that can help you or a loved one who’s in crisis, please check out our show notes.
Taun Hall 01:53
Me and my husband met in San Diego State. We found love right away and we got married and had miles.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 02:00
This is Taun Hall, Miles was her first child, a Valentine’s baby born February 15 1996.
Taun Hall 02:08
He was just a warm child. You know, he just he had that kind of love that made my husband had and he just carried that in his heart. When he walked in a room, he just lit it up. He had bright green eyes. And this had this beautiful smile. And he just, he captured the room.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 02:27
When Miles was five, the whole family moved to Walnut Creek, California, a suburb right outside of Oakland.
Taun Hall 02:34
To paint the pictures, we literally lived like we were living the American dream. We had the house and the two kids and the white picket fence and a dog. But we also have to remember who lives in his neighborhoods, you know, are not Black people. We lived in an area that was only 2%-3% African-American.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 02:55
The kids grew up living a pretty typical suburban life, playing sports, riding bikes, making music. But like Taun said, the Hall’s were only one of a few black families in the area.
Taun Hall 03:07
Miles felt uncomfortable, sometimes just walking on the trail in our neighborhood because he said people would like move away from him. He felt the prejudiced even hate being here.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 03:18
And Taun also noticed at a young age that Miles was struggling.
Taun Hall 03:22
He had attention deficit disorder when he was younger. So he was showing signs of mental illness earlier. But we started to see the really big changes right after high school, and right after he graduated. And that’s when we saw like more of the hallucinations and delusions, that someone with a schizoaffective disorder, which he was diagnosed with, will have.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 03:44
His behavior became more erratic. And his family became increasingly concerned for his well-being.
Taun Hall 03:51
He started to say like God is going to provide for me. And just to give you context, our family is not religious like that we don’t go to church like so for him to say that it that was also a red flag.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 04:03
And miles spent most of his time alone.
Taun Hall 04:07
He didn’t want to go out with people. He didn’t want to like hang out, he kind of shut his door and didn’t want to come out.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 04:14
Taun tried so hard to get miles into treatment. But if you’ve ever loved someone who is dealing with severe mental illness, you know how difficult this dance can be. Miles didn’t necessarily want help because he was living in his own version of reality. He didn’t grasp the severity of his own mental illness.
Taun Hall 04:35
I ended up finding a therapist and I was hoping he would go and I ended up having to go to the therapist and try to get like a plan for him of how I could support him. And then now also Miles is now at this point when I’m really trying to like really get him to help. He’s over 18 So right now there are certain criteria to get someone to help, who doesn’t want help or understand that they need help, you have to be a danger to yourself, and danger to others or gravely ill. And miles never fit that criteria. So while I could see my son deteriorating in front of my eyes, there were really no resources that could support him or our family.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 05:21
Taun was working every possible angle grasping for help that just wasn’t there. The situation became so dire, she even reached out to the local police.
Taun Hall 05:32
Then you start researching and say, okay, well, the police can help. And if he has a 51/50, which is a non-voluntary hospitalization, we can force treatment for him.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 05:44
Yeah, I mean, what’s so striking is that you were working within the system. Like the only way you could get help you were doing all of those things. But there was obviously an inherent risk in that. Because yeah, the police should not be handling mental health emergencies.
Taun Hall 06:06
When you are a desperate family, and you’re worried about your African American son who lives in a white community. My concern is for his safety, and making sure that he’s going to be okay. Obviously, we were in a very desperate situation, to even think of using the police as a maneuver as a mechanism to get them help. So that’s why, over two years, two and a half years, I made sure that they knew him, that he lived in his neighborhood that he grew up here as a five year old, that this young man miles belonged here. And I formed a relationship with a mental health officer and I wanted to make sure they knew who he was. So all our fears came to fruition on June 2nd, 2019.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 07:01
Taun worked for years to get miles the help he needed. But unfortunately, none of it was enough. I’m Stephanie Wittels Wachs. This is CALL FOR HELP.
Taun Hall 07:30
It was at five o’clock in the afternoon. And it was bright and sunny and beautiful outside. We have a very close community. And they saw him digging out in the backyard trying to plant some plants. And they’re like, oh, miles, you need help with that. Let me help you. So they gave him a garden tool, which now he’s in delusions and hallucinations, and he thinks is the staff from God. So it breaks the window. But when he broke a window, like he wasn’t like, aggressive to us, he wasn’t attacking us.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 08:00
Tom called 911, hoping the police and the mental health officer she’d connected with could help deescalate the situation. But that is not what happened.
Taun Hall 08:11
And four officers came on the scene, shouting his name. And mind you they’re blocking his way home on this call cul-de-sac, so the only way you can go is where they’re where they are. And he’s running towards them. He’s not running at them. He’s holding the garden tool towards his chest. He’s not brandishing it. He was literally trying to get away and he was scared. And then two officers shot him, who shot four times. So in Miles’s weakest moment, when the police had history, and knew that this young man already had a mental health condition. You know, they came in they shot him within 30 seconds.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 08:58
Miles died at the hospital 20 minutes later. To say, my heart broke while talking to Taun is an understatement. Any parent, any person knows how far you will go to help someone you love who is deteriorating right before your eyes. And what’s even more heartbreaking about this story is that Taun did everything right. She followed every rule we’re told to follow and went far beyond standard protocol to keep her son safe. And it still wasn’t enough. Ultimately, the system failed Taun, Miles and their family. So many people are struggling with mental health issues in silence and desperately need help. This is the promise of 988, the hope that maybe this number could help people like Miles from slipping through the cracks in the first place. Remember the Mental Health Care Solar System that Melissa Beck talked about in the first Episode? Well, today we are taking out our telescopes and zooming in taking a good hard look at how we treat people with severe mental health conditions in this country, and how in the world we got here. But I needed a tour guide through the cosmos. So I called up Tom Insel. He’s a neuroscientist, and psychiatrist. And he has the exact type of calming presence you’d expect from someone with those titles. Even when he’s dealing with some theory, pesky buzzing.
Tom Insel 10:35
I have a fly, who is actually landing on the microphone. I don’t know if that’s what you’re hearing.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 10:40
Oh, okay. An actual fly.
Tom Insel 10:42
You can take a moment. All right, he is now not going to not going to bother us anymore.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 10:50
Spoiler, the fly does keep bothering us and does keep making an appearance. Tom, how would you describe our mental health care system? I mean, why does it suck?
Tom Insel 11:01
You know, it’s really not a mental health care system. There’s no real system here. It’s just fragmented. It’s so chaotic. There’s no coherence. It’s really the most expensive, most intensive and probably least efficient way to get to mental health. And calling it a system is really overstating the whole kind of gibberish of what people get when they look for care.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 11:26
For decades, Tom has had an insider’s view of that […] system, he headed up the National Institute of Mental Health for 13 years. They’re the agency that does the research and science part of mental illness. And let me tell you, the way we approach mental health and America makes about as much sense as the word […].
Tom Insel 11:47
The way that we manage, is all by crisis. So people get into care, because they’re often not looking for it. They’re suicidal, they’re potentially psychotic, they’re completely unable to cope, and they end up in an emergency room, and maybe they end up in the hospital. And they will get intensive care, maybe for three days, maybe for a week. These are more complicated problems that require a kind of comprehensive and continuous engagement. That’s not the system we have. They get into care at a late stage when they’re in crisis.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 12:25
Over 39 million people in the US have a mental illness, but only 45% of those people are receiving treatment, less than half are getting treated. Think about that. Can you imagine if only 45% of people who had heart disease are seeing a doctor. And then we only treated them at the point of crisis when they had a heart attack. And then we said, See you later. Let us know when you have another heart attack. And it sounds totally backwards. But this is how we do it when it comes to mental health. But here’s the thing, a mental health crisis is harder to identify than a heart attack. It presents differently in everyone and refers to a variety of situations. A crisis can look and feel like a true drop everything life or death emergency, or it can be utterly silent panic. It can be the hopeless despair of someone who’s experiencing a rough patch, or the acute anxiety of someone who’s having a horrible day because it’s hard to be a sentient being living on this spinning planet in outer space. Mental health has always been seen differently than physical health, how we treat it, how we talk about it and how we fund it. And none of this happened by accident. There was a perfect storm that came together, flooded out the system and swept it down the storm drain. And Tom witnessed it up close. He got to start in psychiatry in the 70s working in a community mental health center in Western Massachusetts.
Tom Insel 14:02
I was with a couple of other old codgers recently and we were sitting around, you know, as we would do in the burqa loungers, talking about the old days, and I said you know what was it like for you what was what was different? But he said the biggest difference was that we were accountable that once we got engaged with an individual person or a family. They were ours. Whether they went to the hospital, stayed in the day hospital, went to a clinic, wherever they were ours, it was so much less fragmented.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 14:37
At the time, that community mental health center where Tom worked, was part of a much bigger push to fundamentally change how we treated and cared for mental illness. Way before Tom got his start, I’m talking like 300 years ago, people with mental illness in the US were largely cared for by their families. Those who weren’t were treated in hospitals for the mentally ill. They lived in these hospitals and received psychiatric care 24 hours a day, if you could call it that, care often meant being locked in isolation or shackled to walls, essentially removed from society where they could be neither seen nor heard. But there was a movement in the 19th century known as the moral treatment proposed by reformists. The plan was for people with mental illness to get the care they needed, while living productive lives in their communities, for instance, working in bakeries or helping out on farms, and some patients did end up getting that level of care, but many didn’t, especially as the patient population grew in size. By 1955. These institutions are overcrowded and understaffed, horrible stories of abuse and neglect came out about many of these institutions. The book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which to be clear is fiction was famously set and one of these institutions, people started demanding change.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 16:21
There was a call to move patients with mental health issues out of these facilities, and there was one major champion of this cause. President John F. Kennedy, President Kennedy’s own sister, Rosemary spent most of her life in these institutions. For him, the issue was personal. In 1963, he signed the Community Mental Health Act, the bill called for the creation of local mental health centers, places where people could get care outside of the overcrowded state hospitals. But the Community Mental Health Act was never fully able to deliver on its promise. The law outlined 1500 community centers, but only half of those were ever built. This created a huge gap in our mental health care system. And then Medicaid was created, which is a good thing. It opened up public insurance to low income people and families. But the government baked in a loophole.
Tom Insel 17:32
The federal government said we’re not going to use Medicaid to support hospitals, mental health hospitals, like the state hospitals, you can’t use Medicaid for that. It was all part of de-institutionalization. But then they didn’t provide the continuous funding or sufficient funding for community resources.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 17:52
This caused state hospitals to close.
Tom Insel 17:56
What was even more tragic was as we got into the 80s and 90s. And the mental health care system was defunded you no longer had the state hospitals because most of them are already being closed.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 18:12
This defunding of mental health and America has gutted the system. And it’s not just on the government side, insurance companies aren’t footing the bill either. And here lies the issue of parity. I know insurance and parity sounds technical and quite frankly, kind of boring, but stick with me. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was authored by Representative Patrick Kennedy fun fact 45 years after his uncle, President John F. Kennedy passed the Community Mental Health Act. The basic idea of parity is pretty simple. It’s that mental health counts just as much as physical health. There’s no hierarchy between the two.
Altha Stewart 18:54
There is a law on the books that says there should be mental health parity, and we have failed as a society.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 19:05
We’ll pick up there after the break. We are back and talking about failure.
Altha Stewart 21:07
Our elected officials have failed, the advocates have not been successful. It’s not that they failed. They’ve simply not been successful in pushing the needle on this.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 21:16
This is Altha Stewart. She’s an accomplished psychiatrist who’s run hospitals and big public health systems in cities like Detroit and New York. And she’s now a dean at the University of Tennessee and Memphis. And she’s had a front row seat for how the system can fail.
Altha Stewart 21:33
Because we don’t have parity, we aren’t funding the services that people need. This bail first concept in mental health is what is killing people.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 21:45
The parity law was passed back in 2008. But it hasn’t really changed anything because it’s not enforced. And why? Well, without adequate funding and federal infrastructure in place, a good idea is set up to fail.
Altha Stewart 22:02
Whether it’s the medication, and the availability of it, or the level of care and the access to it because of a payment. payers don’t support, the kinds of things we talk about doing early on, like support groups and other things that may have a cost attached to them, or a higher intensity service than an outpatient appointment for medication management. There’s a whole cycle of down spiral.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 22:32
This is the cracked foundation that we’ve built our wobbly mental health care system on top of there are leaks in the ceilings, holes in the walls, and there’s definitely an abundance of data, shag carpet we installed in the 60s that needs to be pulled up. But people still need to access care right now more than ever, some might argue. So where are people in crisis turning for help in a system that’s not really assist him at all. Naturally, the place we deal with all medical emergencies, the emergency room.
Altha Stewart 23:09
I know on TV, it looks like they can handle anything, whether it’s a gunshot or stabbing or someone who’s psychotic. But for the most part, our United States ER’s are not staffed or equipped to handle that. That psychiatric emergency in the moment. If you’re not a psychiatrist or a behavioral health specialist, you may not know other signs and symptoms to both look for and ask about. All of those kinds of things require a specialized form of care.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 23:43
Every year, ER’s in the US treat over 13 million mental health emergencies. ER doctors and nurses are trained to treat physical trauma, injury or illness. But a mental health emergency isn’t their forte. Furthermore, can you imagine being in the thick of your very worst day and having to sit amidst the chaos of the ER, patients with gunshot wounds wheeling by various codes and announcements blaring through the loudspeakers, fluorescent lights flickering overhead 24 hours a day.
Altha Stewart 24:21
If the person is lucky enough to stay in the emergency room, the likelihood is that there won’t be a bed available for them to go to and so they may be what we call boarded in the emergency room for days waiting for a bed to open up somewhere. And then if the bed doesn’t open up, and they’ve gotten some form of treatment, it may be determined since they can’t get into a hospital bed will refer them for community treatment. And then they start falling through the cracks. Because we haven’t explored where they’re living, who’s their support system. And so we discharged them with an appointment to a mental health center. And we don’t know where they go.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 25:01
And in this country, we criminalized behaviors that are in fact symptoms.
Altha Stewart 25:06
When I was in New York, there was a case of a gentleman who had suffered some traumatic brain injury, and began to have signs and symptoms of an accompanying mental illness. He was throwing chunks, basically of concrete into windshields parked along the street. But up until that time, he had tried various other services and kept getting returned to the street. So he was living on the street experiencing these psychiatric symptoms. And the only time he could get recognized was when he began to act in a way that could be described as criminal, and no other area of medicine. Do we criminalize the fact that they have a symptom that manifests itself in a behavioral way, we don’t keep people locked up, because they aren’t compliant with what we believe is the best treatment. We allow people in most of medicine to be partners in their care, we solicit their input about which direction they’d like to go in. And mental health, we don’t do any of that.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 26:15
Of assess there is so much more we could do in terms of prevention. To stop this from happening.
Altha Stewart 26:22
We should have been. able to do something for someone like that, at the first sign that they came for help, we should have been able to do a comprehensive history, we should have managed better, if either a hospital or a community based setting in a more intensive way. But instead, he got released repeatedly back to the streets was homeless, estranged from his family and came back to our attention to the criminal system.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 26:47
And mental health is not a criminal issue. It is a medical issue, just like any physical illness someone might have.
Altha Stewart 26:56
We have a big push nationally around colon cancer around lung cancer around breast cancer. Because we want to get it be for the person has the disorder, the disability related to it, we want to get it while it is still manageable and treatable or preventable. We don’t do that with mental illness, we actively wait for you to have a crisis and then we pull out all the resources.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 27:24
We could do so much to step in long before the crisis point hits, or before someone is suffering in the streets and get swept up in the criminal justice system. Remember what we said in episode one, we should be meeting people with health care, not handcuffs. More on that after the break. We’re back. So mental health in America is not handled preventatively and we are sorely lacking in resources. So what do we do when someone is in crisis? Well, we dial the default call for helpline 911. I mean, what else is there to do? From a young age we are conditioned to call the police to report pretty much anything out of the ordinary, a car accident, a missing person, a fight with a neighbor. But for many people, primarily people of color, police interactions are accompanied by risk. In the US, the rate that unarmed black people are fatally shot by police is three times higher than white people.
Asantewaa Boykin 30:22
Those of us who are people of color already have adverse relationships with law enforcement.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 30:28
That’s Asantewaa Boykin, she’s an activist living in Northern California and also an ER nurse. She’s felt this trauma herself, even at our own workplace.
Asantewaa Boykin 30:38
I know even I have apprehension going into an ER situation if I’m not wearing scrubs, because I just don’t know how personnel are going to receive me. And I think that as a person who’s born in black skin, right, like it’s something we carry with us no matter what institution we’re going into. And then when you put a police officer at the front door and heightens that.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 31:04
There was one major incident that was a turning point for a Asantewaa. The killing of Oscar Grant by Bay Area Transit Police at a train station in Oakland, where her family is from. Asantewaa has taken her work outside of the hospital, and literally onto the streets. She’s a co-founder of the anti-police terror project. The goal of the group is to stop police violence in communities of color. And that led them to ask big questions about how they could make real structural change.
Asantewaa Boykin 31:52
We started to have a conversation around like, well, where could we prevent police contact. And for us, he noticed that, you know, most folks that were being harmed by police were being harmed while in the midst of a mental health crisis, or while dealing with substance use.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 32:07
And out of that conversation, the group started the program mental health first and Asantewaa I had two very clear goals for MH first, to stop police violence and to provide on the ground support in the community. For people who got locked out of getting help during a mental health crisis. Like what happened up the road in Walnut Creek to Taun Hall’s son, Miles.
Taun Hall 32:32
People just didn’t see him as an equal. They saw him as a criminal, they saw him as a threat. And in this situation, what happened to miles, he was the victim. And I really believe that because there’s something when someone looks like you, our you know, there’s just a comfort level of they’re going to do anything they can to support that person.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 32:57
Asantewaa was mental health first provides that type of support. The group set up a phone number, and the program was essentially spread through word of mouth. So the people who are answering the phones come from the same place as the callers. They connect people with hospitals, resources, whatever they need. And lots of the calls. They just listen.
Asantewaa Boykin 33:19
There was a young man who knew that he needed to be in a hospital, but was really clearly he was not like in the mood, right for EMS city disrespect for police to show up and like not be cool. I understood that I’m not in the mood means that he’s not having it today, I knew that the best thing I can do to keep this person safe was to provide alternative transportation for him to get to the hospital. And we did something as simple as sending him a lift to get from where he was calling us from to the hospital without having to interact with police or EMS.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 33:58
And here’s the thing, the police don’t necessarily want to play the role of first responder and a mental health crisis. It’s not the job they’re trained to do. And if ER doctors and nurses aren’t equipped to handle a mental health crisis, the police can be even less so.
Asantewaa Boykin 34:13
We have not had any pushback around whether or not police need to be involved in mental health crisis. The only pushback that we have gotten is actually from the institution of policing itself. And I make a clear difference. Because I’ve had conversations with police officers on the scene. And they’re like, No, yeah, you. Not us. Yeah.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 34:38
Why did they say that to you?
Asantewaa Boykin 34:39
Because they know that they’re not trained. I mean, imagine signing up for a job to be a carpenter and you end up doing plumbing. Their jobs are to investigate, apprehend incarcerate, not treat nurture care. None of that.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 34:59
This is an extraordinary example of a community fending for themselves because the system is not working for them. Asantewaa and Mental Health First have created an alternative system that takes in the concerns and needs of their specific community.
Asantewaa Boykin 35:16
I think our current conditions create the necessity for MH first, the 1/4 of people who get murdered by police are in the midst of a mental health crisis. There are huge gaps and holes in our mental health system. I mean, in our health care system overall, but specifically in mental health. We know that when budgets get cut, it comes from there first, right after art. I think we’re at a time in history where we’re going to have to make a decision whether or not we’re going to continue to invest in systems that don’t serve us, or whether we’re going to create some systems I do.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 35:50
One of the big questions that 988 is bringing up is who should show up during a mental health emergency. Since losing miles Tom has been pouring all of her energy into addressing that very question. She’s currently spearheading a bill in the state of California named after her son to deliver compassionate care to people in crisis.
Taun Hall 36:13
So the Miles Hall lifeline act and Suicide Prevention Act is different than 988 throughout the nation. It’s just a game changer for Californians because of the mobile crisis units of the peer support and respite. What happened to miles like our biggest fear came true. Having this legislation is going to not put families like ours at risk, because now when it’s passed, they’ll have a safe alternative.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 36:46
As I listen to Taun tell her story, I kept wondering if 988 would have made a difference for someone like Myles, someone who was experiencing such a serious mental health crisis,
Taun Hall 36:58
that it is good for someone who’s maybe suicidal, who needs to just have talk and chat and text nine and eight call, like just calling and not having the support that our family needed. Because only is only going to be so helpful. It’s not going to really do that much for someone who has serious mental health challenges. Because they need more than that, right? They need more than just someone on the other line. We need a whole plan of action.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 37:25
Asantewaa feel similarly, about 988. Even with so many big questions hanging in the air, which is cautiously optimistic.
Asantewaa Boykin 37:34
I think 988 is a great step in the right direction. Of course, there are some concerns, right? Just like with any great idea, right? Like who’s going to be answered the phone is like my number one question. When it comes to 988. What resources are those calls going to be sent to?
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 37:55
If the goal of 988is essentially to be a central hub, to mental health resources, what resources exist? And how do they work together to create a system that actually saves lives? Well, next week we visit a state that is the gold standard of mental health crisis response. We are going to Arizona. But, before the train leaves the station, here is Zach.
Zak Williams 38:28
Thanks, Steph. It’s Zach Williams, your official call for help service correspondent, I’m back again to provide you with helpful resources that go beyond the podcast. We learned a ton today about how we got where we are in our mental health care system. We also learned a lot about the life or death consequences particularly for people of color when a mental health crisis is not met with a mental health response. Now, I’m sure you’re here to listen and learn. But maybe you, your family or your community have been impacted by the themes in today’s episode and you want to do more. So, we wanted to share a few resources from our editorial partners and incredible guests. As always, everything mentioned is linked in our show notes on whatever app you’re using, or on Lemonada’s website under the call for help podcast episode two. First, you may be listening to this and thinking what exactly should I do if someone I’m close to find themselves in the middle of a mental health crisis? We’ve got some resources for you. Check out the guide from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to learn how to navigate a crisis. In addition, the Jed Foundation has resources on how to talk to your friends who might be struggling. It’s certainly not an easy situation to navigate, but this is a great place to start. If you want to learn more about the intersection between mental health and criminal justice. There are so many great organizations to support. To start, check out the just trust.org and campaign zero.org. You’ll find some starter resources to expand your knowledge and learn about the policy reform that’s happening in this space. And last, but definitely not least, you can learn about Tom Hall’s work getting 90 day policy passed in her community and you can read about what Asantewaa Boykin is doing to make mental health crisis response more accessible. Visit our show notes. You can find all the links I mentioned there. See you next week.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs 40:41
CALL FOR HELP is a Lemonada Media Original. Presented by Sozosei foundation hosting and story editing were done by me Stephanie Wittels Wachs, our producers, our Alie Kilts and Alexa Lim. Tess Novotny is our associate producer, Natasha Jacobs is our engineer and sound designer. Music is by Xander Singh, with additional music by Natasha Jacobs. Naomi Bar is our fact checker. Executive Producers are Zach Williams, Jessica Cordova, Kramer and me. We are so grateful to our show sponsors the Jed Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Health and the Just trust, and a special thanks to Krystal Genesis and Jackie Danziger, for additional support. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at widow Stephanie and stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia You can also get premium content and behind the scenes material by subscribing to Lemonada Premium on Apple podcasts. For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and all other Lemonada series you can visit lemonadamedia.com/sponsors. And finally to follow along with the transcript, go to Lemonada media.com/show/callforhelp shortly after the air date.