Sometimes a writer, by choice of metaphor or by graphic description, captures reality in an exceptional way. One item in this section, “Uncivil Liberties,” appearing first in the Vancouver Sun in 1993, is such a case. The article deals with the appropriateness of involuntary committal in helping the seriously mentally ill get the treatment they badly need. It was widely reprinted in Canada, the United States and, on one occasion, Australia and has been cited often in campaigns in several American states to make their mental health legislation more pro-active. (For an understanding of the circumstances in which this all this happened, see Madness in the Streets by Rael Jean Isaac and Virginia Armat, 1990. For a glimpse into local work on serious mental illness in which Herschel has been involved, see
"At last, our hospitals in British Columbia are using extended leave..," Bulletin (Schizophrenia Society of Canada), Vol. 7, Issue 4, February 1999; TAC Newsletter (Treatment Advocacy Centre, Washington), May 28, 1999.
"Social Responsibilities" (on social responsibility for road safety), Recovery, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Volume 5, Number 3, Fall 1994.
"Uncivil Liberties" (on approaches to mental health legislation), Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Winnipeg Free Press, The FAMI Reporter (Friends and Advocates of the Mentally Ill, New York City), The Schizophrenia Fellowship of South Queensland Newsletter, July 23 (and subsequent), 1993; posted on the website of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI).