I sat at the kitchen table this morning with my bowl of low-carb cereal, and flipped on the computer to review my overnight messages.
From the distraught mom of a 17 year old, mentally ill kid:
He attempted suicide by hanging himself with a sheet. I learned it around noon after calling tons of people, but no one would tell me why.
This young man was doing fine in a private institution, but then had serious problems, and was arrested again for parole violation. He's back in the Michigan prison system.
I don't think he will be able to cope. I hope he can find the will to live, but I don't feel he has it in him anymore. He made it very clear he cannot live in this life anymore. It is so sad.
I love this kid! I went to see him in prison, and when he was stabilized with proper medication he was a delight: a charming teenager with an award-winning smile. I bought him soda and candy bars. We laughed together, and hugged. His mother received a national award for working 24/7 to get him out of prison and into a proper institution. I was honored to speak at the awards ceremony. Now this. More charges, court arraignments, trials.
It's time for HFP to ratchet up our work with and for the mentally ill in prison! First and foremost, we must try to help these people. It's estimated that one prisoner in four is mentally ill in our prison system. Are you with us on this? It's going to take two things, in this order: prayer and dollars! Start today by praying for mother and son.
We have a psychologist as the chairman of our board. I pledge that he and I will begin to lay out plans for an expanded program as soon as next week. May we count on you? We cannot wait!
Doug Tjapkes, President
HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS
P.O. Box 687
Grand Haven, MI 489417