Mental Health Awareness & Pay It Forward

I have been trying to figure out a way to raise #mentalhealth awareness. After rattling my brain for a while I came up with a great idea and put it to the test.

Today I went into the New Cannan Ct Starbucks and #paiditforward without saying anything but buying a 10.00 gift card and telling the cashier I was paying it forward to the next customer. The customer was so happy and I was too!

Some may be wondering how this will raise Mental Health Awareness well obviously thousands of others need to do it also and like the ALS challenge people need to be nominated.

The only thing is you will need to take a picture of your receipt that you actually paid it forward or have someone record you. Unfortunately, I never got my receipt.

In the next 24hrs I nominate Jen Jennifer Kalaj , Gabriella Rodriguez , Leah Harris , Jessica Kong , Jason Eberhard , Adam Slosberg to pay it forward . There is no set dollar amount.

Anyone can begin this on their own by going into a coffee shop and paying it forward then going onto facebook and nominating people but they must post  with proof that they paid it forward. If you feel comfortable mention that your doing it for Mental Health Awareness but please make sure that when your posting on social media that you include the hashtag mental health in your post so people know why your paying it forward.

My Story and the Lack of Transperency in the Main Stream Media

It’s 1 AM and I am awake with saddness in my heart. Over the past week I have watched a community in Missouri deteriorate because of a young black man being shot by the police. It quickly grew out of control and the media flew to cover the madness . The President of the United States, Department of Justice, FBI and many law enforcement agencies being used as resources. The incident being tried in the court of public opinion. 

I have often wondered why the main stream media has not picked up my story. It can’t be because of the lack of evidence, ” hook to the story ” as some may call it or even interest of viewers. Between my google site and wordpress I have had almost 90,000 views in one year and a half. It hurts every time I see someones mental health story being aired in the media ” the select few ” because as hard as I have worked not only for myself, but in the long run to ensure change in our mental health system not one main stream media station has reached out.

It’s sad to think that the media would ignore a story where a renowned hospital like New York Presbyterian has a psychiatrist on staff abusing their authority, the patients, traumatizing their patience and going above and beyond to ruin a patients life by falsifying medical records. In addition, this is fueled by the management in the hospital that allows it. This doctor works with some of the most vulnerable people, people with mental illness and she is allowed to outright abuse them because she knows she works for a hospital where the media will not pick up the story and her job is safe. 

The public that reads my story knows that what was done to me was uncomprehensionable as one person said, so why hasn’t the media picked up my story??? I will tell you why I think they haven’t. They are fearful because New York Presbyterian Hospital is so well known and has it’s own TV show, commercials etc.., Fordham University has a reputation which is remarkable and countless connections because of it’s political graduates. The thing is that nothing will change in our mental health system ever if no one is brave enough to take on a story like mine and call it out as it is.

Right now, New York Presbyterian is under investigation by the department of justice, Fordham University is under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education. It’s not everyday that a hospital complaint is sent to the Executive office for the attorney general of the united states. It has been a little over a year and with so much more that has gone on no media coverage. Read More of My Story Here 

Monster: A Narration of Mental Health Discrimination at Fordham


I hope you are doing better. I suffer from major depression and understand all too well how you feel. I also am a student at Fordham University and am going through the discrimination that you faced or type of discrimination you faced. I hope that you stood up to Fordham. No student should face a punishment because of a mental illness or any disease. Please feel free to contact me at . I would like to connect.

Originally posted on :

Freshman details just how helpful the administration is not
Pria Islam


I sat for minutes, for hours, for days, frozen in time, paralyzed. The world had pulled a lens over my eyes, muting my vision. It was dull. The cruelest part is not that I could not move, but that I saw the universe moving on without me…

Your brain is the epicenter of every function that your body performs. From your motor skills to thought processes, it is what makes you what you are. Your arm controls your movement to the extent that you can hold and lift things. If you break your arm, you lose that ability. In this way, if your brain is sick, then you lose the ability to function.

When I entered Fordham University in August 2012, I had already been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I was attending therapy and taking a range of…

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Dr. Keith Ablow – Fox Five Contributor

Dear Dr. Keith Ablow,

I am utterly shocked at your article on how to fix our broken mental health system. As a practicing psychiatrist your immediate answer to confine an individual by court order or place them in a hospital and design a system to violate people with mental illness civil rights is extremely concerning. I would like to first comment on the term serious mental illness and how lacksadasicale you are on using that. In your article you throw that term around as if everyone has it and would design a ” reformed ” mental health system around people with this type of disorder. Second, You mention nothing of protecting people with mental illness in a system where the psychiatrists are corrupt by the pharmaceutical system, but have no problem forcing drugs on the patients. How Dr. Ablow is having zombies walking the streets and ” professionals ” like teachers making referrals with no mental health background to mental health centers going to reform our mental health system? The last thing I want to mention is the stigma you add and false sense of violence that people with mental illness are violent when studies show they are no more violent than someone without the disease.

Let me share with you my story. I suffer from major depression. I was very disappointed to hear yet another psychiatrist and mental health professional yield to this sort of treatment. It is inhumane and people with mental illness are like everyone else. We wouldn’t take civil rights away from someone with cancer or diabetes so why mental illness. The need for involuntary treatment is neccessary, but should never be a standard operation. What the mental health system needs is a combination of mental health professionals who have compassion, good therapy, medication if required, checks and balances, transparency and a legitimate heiracrhy with no conflicts to over see everyone and everything to ensure the protection of people with mental illness and that mental health professionals are staying honest and work with integrity. 


Emily Pierce

The Hidden Trauma of the Mental Health System

In February 2013, I was going through a rough time. My depression had come back and I called my therapist. When my therapist was not available to speak, I had done what I thought was the appropriate next step because of how hopeless and depressed I was feeling, which was called the police and spoke with them. I called them not only because of the hopelessness and sadness that I was feeling, but because I used to live and volunteer as an auxilirary officer within the town. Somewhere within the lines of communication between the police speaking with the state police where I live and New York Presbyterian Hospital, My words of feeling ” hopeless and depressed” were twisted into I was going to drive my car into a ditch.

Dr. Baran the attending psychiatrist initially wanted to discharge me, but my therapist felt I should stay. I asked Dr. Baran for something to help me sleep and she prescribed an anti-psychotic. I raised concerns about the side effects of the anti-psychotics and that they caused suicidal tendencies, nervousness and agitation, but she would not listen. That same day Dr. Baran ripped me off my anti-anxiety medication that I had been on for two years allowing for no tapering off period. Coupled with the change in medication and the prescribed anti-psychotics that weekend I tried to commit suicide. After the incident Dr. Baran prescribed another anti-psychotic for sleep and reluctantly I complied. After not having any relief and feeling worse the following day I told her I was no longer going to take the medication. Her response was if you don’t take the medication we will propose ECT ( Electro-shock therapy) and if you refuse we will bring you to court.  I did not go along with the ECT and so she petitioned the court for the ECT and medication.

Dr. Baran re-diagnosed me Schizoaffective disorder. The staff then began to badger and harass me in hopes to prove the diagnosis accurate. I was tormented by questions to try and prove that I was paranoid. They put me on one to one and forced me to shower with the bathroom door open and the bedroom door open so that patients were able to see me.

While all of this was going on my life was seemingly falling apart at my fingertips. I got a phonecall from my landlord that within two weeks I needed to move out because he was not renewing my lease. My therapist because I asked her to testify on my behalf in court got scared and wrote me a letter that she would no longer be working with me. During this period of time I had to maintain my composure and might I add that Dr. Baran ripped me off all of my anti-depressants. The one medication I actually needed. It was hell on earth and yes in the hospital during those three weeks I was thinking I would rather be dead than face the psychological torture I was facing at the hands of this doctor and all the staff.  Yet I kept telling myself everyday it can’t get any worse. Those words are what got me through, in addition to friends who supported me.

During the court hearing Dr. Baran was allowed to be evasive in her answers and out of line with the medical records. I had to listen to her be abusive and call me manipulative and a liar while she was on the stand. After all of this the judge still sided with her and had me forcibly medicated.

Let me explain to you what it feels like to be forced to take a medication you don’t need and the fact that your aware and competent is torture. I got back to the hospital and was told of the judges decision. Initially, I said I was not going to comply with the order and turned to Dr. Baran and asked her if she was really going to take a calm patient and have them restrained to take a medication that they don’t need. She looked at me and walked away. After speaking with a friend and hearing him out, I decided to take the medication. I will never forget the feeling of my mind going fuzzy and not being able to think straight. Over the next week my speech became affected, I was slurring my words and I became almost like a vegtable and cognicent of it too. If that’s not the definition of torture I don’t know what is.

It wasn’t enough for the hospital to commit such egregious and illegal acts inside, but when I got home I was informed by Fordham University where I attend school that I had to withdraw from my classes and go through their re-entry program. One of the many requirements that Fordham made in order for me to return because someone from New York Presbyterian Hospital violated my HIPPA privacy rights and told them I was involuntarily hospitalized and forced to take medication was to give them my entire medical record from the hospital. I did not comply and gave them exactly what their policy states a letter from my attending psychiatrist. Thousands of dollars later I now await a decision from the Office of Civil Rights.

Over the past year and a half I have fiercly advocated for myself and not really gone public with my feelings and experiences of what the corruption of the mental health system did to my life. I wake up screaming from nightmares about New York Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Baran all the time. I constantly relieve the experiences over and over again and ask myself why? What did I do to Dr. Baran that was so bad that she would want to traumatize me the way she did?, I have gone bankrupt, in debt and almost homeless because of having to pay for private representation for not only an attorney at New York Presbyterian Hospital, but for Fordham University.

I met my boyfriend, my best friend and my confidant in November of last year. He walked into this storm not knowing and accepting me for who I am and the situation I am in. My situation has affected him in ways I don’t even know. When I wake up at night screaming, he not only loses sleep but it hurts him. When I cry endlessly because the justice system has moved so slow and I have advocated so hard and tiredlessly he feels that pain. It also has affected him financially. He has put out thousands of dollars that he doesn’t have. This is what the corruption of the mental health system does and what Representative Tim Murphy doesn’t want you to know.

Today, although I suffer from nightmares, I have times where I cry endlessly, I don’t have a dime to my name and I am not in school yet, I have made a difference. I have spoken with Congressman Maloneys Senior Legislative Aide to protect the mentally ill, written to members of congress, raised awareness through fundraising and my story, spoken to the public. I have met and become friends with amazing new people. My boyfriend is the icing on the cake he has been my rock through it all.

If you take away anything from my story please take away this, if Represntative Tim Murphys Bill were to be implemented tomorrow, I would have been mandated to assisted outpatient treatment. There wouldn’t have been any questions asked. The cuts to the leading advocacy organization for the mentally ill PAIMI would make it so there are virtually no protections. It would be almost impossible to fight against any psychiatrist. It’s impossible now and you go bankrupt if you attempt it and continue. The case with Fordham would most likely be legal, which means my civil rights which are afforded to me by the constitiution meant nothing. We need a new mental health system, but not one in which there are no checks and balances or transperency.

Reckless behavior by Representative Tim Murphy

Representative Tim Murphys actions continue to show reckless in regards to the mental health bill he has proposed. It is not enough that people with mental illness face stigma every day because of the media and politicians like himself spreading inaccurate information. It seems as it gets closer to the session ending for congress Representative Murphy gets more desparate to pass his bill, so desparate that he allows the public to engage in unlawful behavior on his facebook page which we all know is monitored or should be monitored by his staff.

Over the weekend a heated debate took place with a few individuals on Representative Murphys Facebook page. The debate was over his mental health bill and while much of the people were trying to be respectful there were some that were not able to. This topic and understandably so can cause emotions to run high. This is why a representative should be responsible and oversee their  social media sites. During this conversation a mother of a schizophrenic son Mary Murphy posed as ” Miss Sophia ” on a separate facebook account and posted on Representative Murphys facebook page. This ” Miss Sophia ” began on a rant about the FBI and how they were after them. You can read below about what was posted. The reason why I bring this reckless behavior to the attention of the public because if someone on the forum had not contacted facebook, the police could have been possibly called and this ” Miss Sophia ” who never existed in the first place would have been taking attention away from the police who could have been saving another persons life. Later after the facebook was removed Mary Murphy had owned up to posting this as ” Miss Sophia” and another person had commented Beth Harris and understandbly was extremly upset at her actions.

Now lets think about this for a second had the authorities been called because a mother of a schizophrenic son had made up a facebook page, (it would have made the news) and  due to policies not being put in place when they were needed, that could very well be turned around in Representative Tim Murphys favor. So why would Rep Tim Murphy take down these posts. The public needs to see the decieving and manipulative behavior on behalf of this Representative. Again I ask is this who we want proposing mental health legislation??


Miss Sophia

Miss Sophia



Mary Murphy ( Miss Sophia )

Mary Murphy ( Miss Sophia )



Emily Elizabeth Pierce ( Response )

Emily Elizabeth Pierce Response

Beth Harris ( reacts to Mary Murphy ” Miss Sophia ” )

Beth Harris Reacts to Mary Murphy ( Miss Sophia)

Correction to NAMI NYC Metro Resignation Letter

I need to make a correction to my NAMI NYC Metro Resignation letter there was information about NAMI ,Mary Murphys son being deceased and them having to do with the forced treatment bill in Ohio.

Mary Murphys son is not deceased and is alive. It was a friend of Mary Murphys where a post was shared and it showed that NAMI was involved in the making of Joeys law, which is a forced treatment law. 

This is the information on Joeys Law which NAMI of Ohio was involved in.