Fragile Minds: An Advocate’s Story
Diane Lane Chambers
Ellexa Press, LLC. (2022)
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views 12/2022
“Fragile Minds: An Advocate’s Story” by Diane Lane Chambers sheds light on how our Government’s legislature ties the hands of both families and healthcare facilities trying to help people with serious mental issues. Currently, a person can only be held for seventy-two hours for observation unless the patient themselves signs legal forms requesting care. After that period of time they are released back onto the streets despite being a danger to themselves or others. Ms. Chambers’ forty years of experience as a sign language interpreter has brought her to the front lines of this crisis. It is through her first-hand accounts the reader discovers the revolving door of untreated mental illness and governmental red tape preventing real results.
Ms. Chambers expertly introduces her readers to events in the daily life of an interpreter assigned to patients within half-way houses, jails, and mental rehabilitation facilities. The accounting of her experiences is told in an entertaining, informative, and easy to follow manner. The patients and staff seem to come to life as you discover their backstories and oddities of their behavior. I especially like the story of Carlos and found myself personally concerned about his safety and mental wellbeing.
Author Diane Chambers holds the hands of her readers, educating them as they walk the hallways of mental healthcare facilities bursting at the seams with patients. The scenes settings paint vivid pictures for the reader to follow. Being from Colorado myself, I felt shaken when the Columbine High School and the Aurora Batman Movie Theater mass shootings were used as examples which result from untreated psychosis. I had forgotten the panic and fear I felt that night as I frantically called looking for my children. Now, once again, tears are streaming down my face.
Every American understands there is a national crisis within our county’s mental healthcare system. The dilemma is what we can do to resolve this growing problem. Reading “Fragile Minds: An Advocate’s Story” is a step in the right direction to finding that solution. This is an incredible book which I strongly recommend and feel is a necessary subject that shouts “enough is enough.”