Fred Frese was a young Marine Corps officer and graduate student when he started experiencing the psychotic delusions of paranoid schizophrenia. He was hospitalized, the first of what would be 11 such institutionalizations. But he also managed to complete graduate school and earn a doctorate in psychology from Ohio University. He married and had four children, and 12 years after his first hospitalization, he became a chief psychologist for the Ohio mental health system.
That was 30 years ago. Today, Frese is director of the Summit County Recovery Project in Akron, Ohio, and one of the most articulate and outspoken national advocates of mental health recovery programs.
A crucial part of that recovery is battling the stigma of mental illness, he said. About 6 percent of the population, or one in 17 Americans, suffers from a serious mental illness. One in five families are affected…….