9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill
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9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Before Julie Callahan came to the house at 9 Highland Road in Glen Cove, New York, she had spent a good part of her young life in mental hospitals, her mental and emotional coherence nearly destroyed by a childhood of sexual abuse. Fred Grasso, a schizophrenic, had lived in a filthy single-room occupancy hotel. At 9 Highland Road they and their housemates were given a dece...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 30th 1995 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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1993 New York state stats:

$120K/yr to keep a consumer inpatient at a state hospital.
$35K/yr to maintain a consumer at a group home.

SPMI, seriously and persistently mentally ill- that class of consumers in the MH system that fluctuate between stability and instability. Individuals for whom themselves and the state (taxpayers) benefit the most from group homes like the titular location.

The set-up of the residence is similar to my experiences (except staff are allowed to sleep overnight!!!) but as...more
This book changed my mind about mental health group homes. I'd always though I'd protest if one opened near me. This book, by a New York Times reporter who spent several years researching, describes the process to get it opened, against organized opposition by neighbors and double crossing politicians. Finally the first residents move in. Then the book follows the lives of several patients who live there. Some get better, some worse, some stay the same. The staff who live on site know their clie...more
Before reading this stunning book, I never even considered the idea of group homes being a solution for living conditions in the mentally ill community. The fact that they are cost-effective, benign to the neighbors, and can even help a mentally ill person permanently ease out of the system should convince anyone more group homes for the mentally ill should exist. Let's hope this is the new paradigm for the mentally ill in the 21st century.
Kayla Shanley
It's great that a book so completely covers the significant role group homes play in community mental health services, but many of the policies and terminology are out of date. The case studies are interesting, and the different perspectives (from patients, managers, politicians, to family members) helped me to even better appreciate all the challenges involved in treating mental illnesses. Interesting read.
Quite an amazing book, well-told stories providing a great amount of insight into some of the battles fought by people with mental illness, their friends and families, the medical staff and counselors caring for them. Though set in the early 90s, I wouldn't be surprised to read how little attitudes have changed towards the mentally ill and their treatment. A powerful read about inspiring people.
Whoa, Nellie! Thought somehow that I was getting a humorous novel...It's the story of a group home for the mentally ill and the process of establishing it and the stories of some of its inhabitants. Interesting, and maybe a 3.5. One of the character's personalities likes to use the F bomb a lot. Out of curiosity, who recommended this in the first place?
Great book. Picks up after the first chapter or 2 (though I enjoyed the background provided there as well). Talks about various residents living in a group home, and really gives an insider's view point of mental illness. Written by a journalist and a true story. I actually met Julie at a talk once!
Mr. Pirkl
A narrative of the rise of group homes in Long Island, NY. Traces the struggles to get the home on 9 Highland Rd. open and the challenges and struggles of the staff and residents. I worked in a group home and thought this was a very interesting and accurate portrayal.
Really good portrayal of the group home option for people who have mental illness and have the potential for independent living. Great interesting stories!
I read this book for a class and I actually really enjoyed all the firsthand anecdotes about life in the group home.
Heidi Sinderman
excellent, excellent, excellent. puts a real face on folks with mental illness
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