Ben Behind His Voices: A Review

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I was on vacation last week and I found this to be a great opportunity to read a book that’s been on my reading list for quite a while. It’s called by Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey From Schizophrenia to Hope by Randye Kaye.

I heard Randye speak at a local NAMI annual dinner and was captivated by her story.

The book profiles Randye’s son Ben from his childhood years into adulthood and the progression of his mental illness. She vividly describes the frustrating experience of trying to get Ben the help he needed while still maintaining her career and family.

This book is a must read for anyone who has a loved one who is living with a severe and persistent mental illness and is struggling to cope. Along with her first-person account, Randye also provides “Chapter Guideposts” that offer practical suggestions on everything from signs and symptoms of Schizophrenia to resources that can be used to help a significant other to learn the “ins and outs” of the mental health system.

While this book deals primarily with Ben’s struggles with Schizophrenia, it also describes the process that many people go through to receive an accurate diagnosis and the treatment that accompanies it.

I’ve read a lot of books on mental health-related topics over the years and I have to say that this was one of the best. Randye is a great storyteller. While the book begins and ends in the present, it is open-ended with the future of Ben still to unfold.

I highly recommend this book and give it five stars.

What books have you read on mental illness that you’ve appreciated?

About the author
Karl Shallowhorn is the Education Program Coordinator for the Community Health Center of Buffalo. Karl has been living with bipolar disorder since 1981. He is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor and has worked in both the addictions and mental health fields for over 17 years. Karl is the author of Working on Wellness: A Practical Guide to Mental Health. He is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and also works as a mental health consultant for organizations across New York State. Karl has provided a variety of mental health-related seminars and workshops for conferences, schools and businesses on the local, state and national levels. Karl serves on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association in New York State, the Mental Health Association of Erie County, the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network, as well as the Erie County Mental Hygiene Community Services Boardand the WNED/WBFO Mental Health Advisory Council. Karl has received numerous awards for his advocacy efforts in his professional career.

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