top of page
  • Writer's pictureCatherine J Rippee-Hanson

Catherine's Library

My recommendation of books about Serious Mental Illness / Brain Disorders by authors who have lived the experience or who have had loved ones in their families or still do... suffering the consequences of our shameful, splintered, and shattered Mental Healthcare System.

Today's Feature... (Available now on

Tomorrow Was Yesterday: Explosive First-Person Indictments of the US Mental Health System— Mothers Across the Nation Tell It Like It Is Paperback – November 23, 2020

by Dede Ranahan (Author)

(With 64 Co-Authors incl. Catherine J Rippee-Hanson & Linda (Rippee) Privatte)

In these snapshots from on-going sagas, you’ll read about grim realities — terrible group homes, suicides, adult children killed by police, incarcerations, solitary confinement, lack of beds, family chaos, substance abuse, ineffective medications, heart-breaking HIPAA restrictions, hallucinations, homelessness, sorrow, hurt, and anger. Simultaneously, you’ll read about profound love, caregiving, gratitude, forgiveness, hope, strength, persistence, resilience, generosity, leadership, courage, pursuing dreams, understanding, and heroism.

Please read our stories. Set aside any conscious biases about serious mental illnesses (SMI) and the people and families who struggle with them. Imagine us as relatives or friends — people you care deeply about. We mothers, in Tomorrow Was Yesterday, are counting on you to help us use outrage and compassion to reach a tipping point for change. We’re relying on your word of mouth support to get these stories out to the broader, unknowing public. It has no idea how abysmal things are.—Dede Ranahan

“I am confident these stories will cause the world to wake up, take notice, and implement the change we so badly need.”—Miriam Feldman, painter, and author of He Came In with It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness

“Reading these intimate accounts will change you. It changed me.”—Steve Goldbloom, Emmy-nominated writer, producer, director, and creator of the Brief But Spectacular series for PBS NEWsHour. The show’s mission is to invite viewers to walk in someone else’s shoes.

“If these stories can't convince policymakers, I don't know what will.”—Mindy Greiling, Minnesota legislator for 20 years, and author of Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker's Fight for Her Son.

BACK STORY: My son Pat died, unexpectedly, July 23, 2014, in a hospital psych ward. In my book, Sooner Than Tomorrow -- A Mother's Diary About Mental Illness, Family, and Everyday Life (2019), I said, "I could write more about the last few weeks of Pat's life, my frustration and anger with our mental health system (there is none) and the drastic need for change -- sooner than tomorrow. I'd make a case for effective, compassionate care for our seriously mentally ill. I'd point out tragedies that could have been prevented and the urgent need for beds and housing. I'd challenge outrageous HIPPA laws that prevent moms and dads like me from giving and receiving lifesaving information. I'd talk about our missing and homeless children and mothers and fathers. I'd tell stories about our sons and daughters in jails and prisons and solitary confinement without treatment, and on and on...My writing would turn into a tirade, and that rant is for another time. Not here. Not on sacred ground." Well, guess what. Six years later, "another time" is here. And now, I'm joined by a cadre of mothers from across the nation. Other mothers like me who want to tell our stories. If you read every story in Tomorrow Was Yesterday, and if you've not had personal or family experience with serious mental illness, I guarantee you'll be a different person than you are right now. You'll entertain new thoughts and ideas about our mental health system. You'll wish us well in our efforts. You'll identify something you can do, in your own life, to help us prevail and obtain the mental health/illness care we desperately need.

And if you're another SMI mom reading Tomorrow Was Yesterday, trust me. Wherever you are, I'm confident you're going to feel less alone.

ACTIONS TO TAKE: Tomorrow Was Yesterday includes a Grassroots Five-Part Plan to Address Serious Mental Illness (developed by advocates from across the country - individuals, professionals, authors, and journalists) and a sample cover letter. Please share this plan with your political representatives, doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, pastors, families, neighbors, and friends. An additional 25-point list suggests actions each of us could take.

Thank you. Dede Ranahan

6,983 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page