Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches

Stopping the Revolving Door - Eric's Powerful AOT Success Story

May 04, 2021 Randye Kaye Season 1 Episode 15
Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches
Stopping the Revolving Door - Eric's Powerful AOT Success Story
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Guest : Eric Smith is a nationally recognized mental health advocate, public speaker, and consultant on matters of severe mental illness (SMI). He is also a graduate of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT). His story has been told in the documentary Stopping the Revolving Door – A Civil Approach to Treating Severe Mental Illness. He has been written about inBedlam, authored by Peabody Award-winning Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD.

Court-Ordered Treatment for Serious Mental Illness saves lives and families. Eric Smith tells his story, and why he advocates for AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatment) 

  • Update: Mimi and Nick on ABC news 
  • Issue: Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Biden's nominee for Asst Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse from Connecticut, is not an advocate for AOT. Connecticut is one of three states without AOT.
  • Story: A big step - to admit to “wrestling with symptoms”  

And, with our guest,

  • What is AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatmen) and how can it help with SMI (Serious Mental Illness)?

We ask Eric :

  • Please tell us a bit about your story and how AOT played into it.
  • As mothers, we're happy to see that your parents have participated with you to help educate professionals. If they were here today, what would they say in support of AOT? 
  • Did you appreciate their role in you receiving AOT care at the time? If not, how did you heal over time?
  • Which people benefit from AOT and why do you include yourself in that group?
  • Please describe what AOT services you received? What helped you the most?
  • Where do you believe you'd be now if you hadn't benefited from it?
  • Do you see any future hope that patient's rights groups will come to see AOT as targeted to just the very severely ill people and that it helps them? Have you received blow back from them?


“I was difficult, I was rude...I was basically “fired” (as a patient) for all the things I needed treatment  for.” - Eric

“The AOT Team recognized that I was being held hostage by my own mind. And they freed me from all of that through a combined effort: psychiatry, social work, a nurse, even an attorney - and a civil court order. ” - Eric Smith

“The most involuntary and coercive and forceful thing I have ever experienced is: my own untreated, undertreated mind”. - Eric

“Fifteen years of failed medication trial and error. Fifteen years of my parents trying to get me the help I needed. Everything had failed.,,AOT is a lifeline, a miracle.”   - Eric

“I was too sick to engage in voluntary care,  and that’s why I’m advocating for something in addition to what you’re advocating for. You’re right...but I’m also right.” - Eric”

Eric's Story
Insane? Crazy? PC words?
What is AOT? and polarized politics
15 years of failure...before
before AOT - breaking into the FBI
Eric's success since AOT
What about Patients' rights?