Mysteries of Mental Illness

Cook County Jail

Black men with mental health problems are more likely to be incarcerated than white men. 50,000 people pass through Cook County Jail each year and 90% are black. One inmate, Jeremiah Robinson, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar and PTSD, and has been arrested 15 times since high school. How did prisons and jails become a frontline treatment for the mentally ill?

Cook County Jail


  • Dr. Igda Martinez  | Decolonizing Mental Health: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dr. Igda Martinez | Decolonizing Mental Health

    3m 24s

    Deconstructing stereotypes around homelessness lies at the core of Dr. Igda Martinez’s work at the Floating Hospital. For 150 years, the New York hospital has made psychiatric care available to unhoused populations who are among society’s most neglected. Shannette Champman, a mother of two, shares her experience of seeking care when she was in need of accessible mental health care.

  • Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi | Decolonizing Mental Health: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi | Decolonizing Mental Health

    4m 3s

    Muslims don’t often seek mental healthcare because of the dearth of services that integrate faith-based concepts into treatment practices. Instead, they seek help from family members, clergymen - people who don’t have the formal training to provide them with adequate care. Dr Hooman Keshavarzi’s Khalil Center provides that much-needed oasis that is a confluence of psychiatry and the Islamic faith.

  • Rosalba Calleros & Alan Alfaro | Decolonizing Mental Health: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Rosalba Calleros & Alan Alfaro | Decolonizing Mental Health

    5m 22s

    When a mental healthcare facility failed to approach Alan’s bipolar disorder within the context of his cerebral palsy, his mother Rosalba knew the lack lay in the under-resourced, ill-informed discriminatory system. Her resolve to find resources to treat Alan rightly, patiently, and creatively, is an example of hope for other families like theirs. But it requires tenacious and persistent advocacy.

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