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Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: mental illness

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August 18, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Busting the stigma of mental illness

In the course of researching for the “What’s troubling mental-health care” editorial package published in Sunday’s Seattle Times, I heard again and again stories of people with mental health disorders living full, healthy lives. These stories rarely make it into the paper, as they are shoved aside by tragedies linked to mental illness. Here are two stories, shared in order…

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Comments | Topics: bipolar disorder, mental health, mental illness

April 22, 2013 at 6:29 AM

Why the Washington Legislature should pay for crisis intervention training for police

Joyce Ostling holds a portrait of her late son, Doug Ostling.

Joyce Ostling holds a portrait of her late son, Doug Ostling. (Photo by Steve Ringman/Seattle Times.)

After finishing my Sunday column about the need for requiring crisis intervention training for police officers, I was able to catch up to Bill and Joyce Ostling, who have a poignant personal story that makes the case for state funding unequivocally.

I was writing as the mother of a teen-ager with autism, but they come at the issue as parents who raised a son and helped him through a troubled adulthood, only to watch him be shot by a police officer at their own home. “It was horrible,” Joyce said on the phone. Doug had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was suspected of having Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.

Their son, 43, died in October 2010. A federal jury concluded the City of Bainbridge Island and the police chief failed to provide adequate training — this story in The Times by reporters Ken Armstrong and Jonathan Martin, gives a chilling account of that night. (Jonathan has since joined the editorial page staff.) The Ostlings were awarded $1 million, according to this June 2012 story.

Bill and Joyce have been lobbying the Legislature to ensure what happened that night to their son never happens again.

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Comments | Topics: Doug Ostling, mental illness, police training