Pete Earley
Bestselling author, and Mental Health Advocate

An Akron Roundtable XTRA

Presentation Title - Hard Lessons Learned: A Father's Journey Through America's Mental Health Madness


October 31, 2019
Luncheon sponsored by:

Luncheon Menu

Luncheon Menu: Lemon Pepper Turkey Cutlet with light sauce, braised leek mashed potatoes and roasted carrots

Vegetarian Menu- Seared Lemon Pepper Tofu

about the speaker

Pete Earley will use his personal story about his son’s serious mental illness, arrest, and eventual recovery to pinpoint system problems, offer solutions, and inspire mental health workers and advocates by telling a tale of resilience, hope, triumph and recovery.

A former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley is the author of 11 nonfiction books, including four New York Times bestsellers, and six novels. He is best known for his nonfiction book, CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. (The word CRAZY in the title refers to our current mental health system.)

CRAZY describes Earley’s struggle to get his adult son help after he develops a severe mental illness and is arrested. As part of his research, Earley spent ten months inside the Miami Dade County jail where he followed persons with mental disorders through the criminal justice system and out onto the streets to see what happened to them. His book has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and prompted CNN to name him one of nation’s top “Mental Wellness Warriors.”  

He serves as the lone parent member of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee, composed of 14 public members who advise Congress about mental health reform.

Earley has testified five times before the U.S. Congress about the need for mental health reform and has lectured in four foreign countries. He serves on the board of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which finances projects to eliminate homelessness. The Chief Justice of the Va. Supreme Court appointed him to a task force that recommended changes to the state's involuntary commitment laws after a horrific shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech University. 

He writes regularly for USA TODAY and the Washington Post about mental health issues and also writes a weekly blog at about mental health issues that often is quoted by the media.  

In a Washingtonian Magazine cover story entitled, Top Journalists: Washington's Media Elite, he was described as one of a handful of journalists in America who "have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency."