For more than a quarter century, Larry Hayes served as the editorial page editor of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Here, he draws on his years of writing about mental illness and his own personal experience. What he presents is a call to action for entire communities.
The book is replete with scores of practical answers to bringing those who suffer out of the shadows and into the mainstream. With real solutions and not just theories, he demonstrates why he has won more than 50 state and national awards for editorials and columns. In 1986, he was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in recognition of his editorials challenging his city to fully desegregate its schools.
Through editorials and personal urging, Hayes was instrumental in Indiana’s victorious fight to win parity of health insurance for persons with a mental illness. He introduced the Crisis Intervention Team to the city to help police better respond to a mental health crisis. He won support for the creation of the Suicide Prevention Council, and a countywide Mental Health Coordinating Council. He played a key role in building public support for the Carriage House, a highly acclaimed rehabilitation center. He successfully lobbied Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne to create the Institute for Behavior Studies, one of the first such programs in the country. His persistent advocacy persuaded the state to transfer an emotionally disturbed 14-year-old girl from the Indiana Women’s Prison to a juvenile treatment center.
Hayes holds degrees in theology and education. He has served churches as a student minister. Just out of graduate school, he taught high school English and directed senior class plays. He taught courses at the Indiana University Purdue University in writing, journalism and peace studies. He’s written for numerous professional publications. His work also has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and The Nation. He retired in 2000 to write books, starting with Monday I’ll
Save the World, memoir of the heartland journalist, published in 2004.
He serves on numerous boards and committees, living in Fort Wayne with his wife, Dr. Toni Kring, a retired educator. He has two children, Robyn, a Spanish teacher and mother to two teenage girls, and John, an advocate for the mentally ill who suffers from bipolar disorder.