Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son by Mindy Greiling is being released this fall by University of Minnesota Press.
Former Minnesota Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville) has been a champion of mental health reform in Minnesota for decades. During her legislative career Greiling reformed hospital release procedures and introduced legislation that allows for earlier intervention on behalf of people in crisis who do not recognize they are ill.
But for 14 of her 20 years in the Minnesota House, she and her husband Roger also struggled to help their son navigate the state’s mental health system.
Jim Greiling, who has schizoaffective disorder, began experiencing delusions in his college years that demanded he kill his mother. Mindy Greiling worried that her son’s fate would be similar to that of her own grandmother, who in 1955 was committed to Rochester State Hospital.
Emboldened by her years of legislative experience and her family’s harrowing struggle with an inadequate mental health system, Mindy Greiling began writing her story. The resulting book, Fix What You Can is a brave and personal account of the day-to-day realities of caring for the mentally ill—from medication compliance and employment to suicide attempts and illicit drug use—as seen through the eyes of both a parent and an advocate.
Memoirs about schizophrenia are not exactly rare. The Greiling family’s story is unique because her political stature enabled her to actually effect some of the necessary changes to the mental health system. While Mindy Greiling was uniquely situated to navigate the tangled mental health system, all caretakers will relate to the struggles of trying to navigate the tangled moods and psychotic episodes of their loved ones as they cope with this terrible disorder.
Fix What You Can is a memoir that will offer hope, inspiration, and emotional resonance for parents, mental health professionals and lay readers who want to support affected families and friends.
Mindy Greiling was a member of the Minnesota House for 20 years. She helped found the nation’s first state mental health caucus, which successfully lobbied for a significant increase in Minnesota’s mental health funding. She has served on state and national boards of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is on the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Community Advisory Council.