Timothy's Law - for Parity-based Mental Health & Chemical Dependency insurance coverage
Home About News Message Board Get Involved

Others’ Stories

Jessica Lynch, Miss New York State for 2003, speaks about the need for Timothy's Law from Jessica Lynch, Miss New York 2003experience. She was first diagnosed with a mental disorder at age 10, and was hospitalized when she was 14. She spent 30 days in the hospital, fighting anorexia and depression. On the 30th day, still weak, physically ill and depressed, she was discharged. She had used up all of her insurance benefits - she was hospitalized on April 1st and was "cured" on April 30th. Jessica realizes that the only difference between her situation and that of Timothy O'Clair is that her family had the money to continue her treatment at any cost. Now she fights to make sure nobody is denied treatment they need because their insurance benefits run out. She graduated with honors from the University of Virginia, and it currently a MHANYS Board member. Read her story in her own words in this New York City Voices article.

Cheryl Russell's son heard voices that told him to hurt people, himself and others. She sought out treatment for him, but on June 12, ran out of benefits. It was on this day that he was released from the hospital, even though doctors all agreed he still needed treatment. When his mother asked what she should do, one doctor told her to get him to school, because once he was on school grounds, it was their responsibility to treat him. This Newsday article details one mother's fight to get services for her son.

Debra Graham lives in Phoenix, New York, about a half hour drive north of Syracuse. Last year, her son Josh completed suicide because he could not access the mental health services that he needed. Debra has since become very active in the fight for Timothy's Law, leading educational rallies throuhgout Central New York in order to help students understand what happened to her son, and understand that it could happen to anyone. As part of her fight to educate the public, Debra talked about losing her son with the Village Voice.