@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
 
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Giving
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors
Features
Interview with the Chancellor
Fogcutters
RAE: A Poet Post-Pulitzer
Car Talk
Movie Maven
Campus Currents
Penguins in Peril
Boundless Birch
Flash Gordon
Stamp of Approval
As Smelled on TV
Toxic Colors
Bio-fuel Accelerator
Tissue Engineering
Name that Worm
3D Pyramid Scheme
More
Archive
 

 

Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Theresa Bish, Marshall '80


Volunteering Voice. When her brother Vincent, Muir '73, was diagnosed with schizophrenia 30 years ago, Theresa Bish, Marshall '80, was spurred to action. As a volunteer mental health advocate, she has spent the past three decades speaking up on behalf of her brother and San Diego County's mentally ill, working to help improve and increase county programs and services.

In 2003, Vincent took his life, and Bish continues to honor him by applying her experience as an advocate and affected family member to help others. "I've seen first-hand the dilemma and heart-breaking issues that go on with somebody's loved one," she says.

Since June 2007, Bish has served on the County's Mental Health Advisory Board, and in 2010 was appointed chairperson. Through her volunteer work, she has played a major role in getting the county to adopt more of a customer service model for treatment, and was successful in getting the board to vote to recommend implementation of Laura's Law in February 2011. The state law allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment, helping to reduce incarcerations of the mentally ill.

"Extending life and enhancing the quality of life should be the priority. There has to be a broader integration for more people that are afflicted," says Bish. "Society needs to be as compassionate for those who are mentally ill, as they are for those with physical affliction or disability."