1. Geraldo Rivera                  Outline from 2005

Television journalist, born in New York City, New York, USA. An anti-poverty lawyer in New York City (1968–70), he joined WABC Eyewitness News (1970–4), gaining fame for producing his exposé of a state home for the retarded, Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace. In 1974 he joined ABC, doing pieces for their magazine shows such as 20/20. In 1987 he started Geraldo, a daytime talk show, in which he pioneered what came to be known as television tabloid journalism, featuring offbeat topics.   © Crystal Reference 2004.  www.crystalreference.com

Q:  What do Former NJ Governor Codey and Janet Werner have in common?

A:  They both deeply care about Rethinking How We Think about Mental Health. They both stayed  overnight stay at the loony bin and learned a lot from the patients.  He at Greystone.  She at Bergen Regional.  They both have a personal commitment to NJ, to consumers, to truth and to making a difference with the least cost.  They are both professionals with cognition in tact.

Q:  What is different about Gov. Codey and Janet Werner?

A:  He signed himself in and stayed only 1 night.  She had a police escort, was detained for 11 days and received a $14,000 bill.  She didn’t receive therapy, she administered it with Tai Chi classes & listening. She made phone calls to members of her business team that led to increased sanitary conditions, better meals & respectful treatment  producing results before the end of her stay. 

Q:  What Gov. Codey and Janet Werner can do as they compare notes?

A:  Let’s get them together on the Geraldo Rivera Show and find out.  Tonight on Geraldo join us for a fasinating look behind the scenes of mental health institutions in New Jersey.  What are the patients really saying?   Is there an easier way hiding behind conversations untold?

Tell us about real conversations with real people, real professionals with cognition in tact locked up inside our hospitals – testimonies from a nurse, lawyer, engineer, business consultant who spent the longest July 4th weekend together.  One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest is NOT the typical profile of patients.  We will see intelligence & answers to our blindness hidden behind labels that will show us how to mine the diamonds in the rough seas of mental health stigma.

“We come in here sane and leave a little nuts.  Look at us grabbing for food.  It’s the only thing to do in here.”  “If staff held a daily 15 minutes attention time per patient it would cut violent rage.  Ray

 “ Dr. I work best on a lower dose of meds, I have a sensitive body chemistry. I learned that in 1979 from my MD.  Janet.  “  Increase her meds until she reaches the level we want.”  Dr. N.  “Make sure you ask specifically for the requirements for your release.”  Staff Member. 

“If this place doesn’t have sick folks in Q to take your place they will not release you today.”  Staff

“Why can’t we have paper and crayons to draw?  Why can’t we have access to the art room?  Why can’t we go to the recreation center instead of pacing these enclosed 2 floors?  It’s sunny out, can’t we go out to the court yard today, it’s July 4th weekend and we’re cooped up in here.” Patient.

“You aren’t a patient Janet.  You must be a spy from the medical team.”  Patient.

Let us acknowledge Steven Feldstein, Feldstein Financial Group and Michael Hayden of www.harknews.com for their heartfelt leadership and business acumen to produce results, bettering the conditions for patients from the daily reports received from Janet Werner, Bergen Regional Hospital. 6/26-7/8/05.  We have undeniable proof that we in NJ can make a difference with minimal cost through a focused team approach by folks who think out of the box and will not give up until the job is done.