“Society is not taking this issue seriously,” Thad Tatum says of the mental health needs of formerly incarcerated people.
An estimated 20 percent of people in jails and 15 percent in state prisons have a serious mental illness, according to a paper compiled by the Treatment Advocacy Center. Resources for these conditions aren’t always available during incarceration or upon release ― and lack of access to care can cause a worsening of symptoms or adjustment issues after a former inmate’s release.
Thad Tatum, a behavioral health specialist and drug counselor who spent nearly three decades in prison, knows firsthand the difficulty of transitioning to life at home after spending time behind bars. With a strong focus on mental health care and support, he has devoted his life to helping formerly incarcerated people make this transition.
He started a peer support group with the help of Tulane University. “The group allows people to have a platform to verbalize what they might be going through. We talk about the challenges of adapting back into society, and I don’t believe there’s often enough serious dialogue surrounding post-incarceration syndrome. I hope that through my diligence and work I can help impact others.”
From The Huffington Post.