The Jani Foundation was founded by Michael and Susan Schofield. Named for their daughter, Jani, diagnosed with child onset schizophrenia at 6 years old, Michael and Susan felt alone in their struggle to keep Jani alive. Through their own journey, Susan and Michael have met families who are fighting to keep their precious children alive… and families who have lost the war against mental illness. We believe a child, no matter the age, should never be a casualty of an illness that can be treated. It is our goal to make that treatment happen. It is a promise we made to families whose children are gone and the families who live in fear of schizophrenia or bipolar taking their children. Severe mental illnesses can and will kill if not treated. Our goal is to save the lives of those with severe mental illness, ease some of the stress their families deal with, and educate the public about severe mental illnesses and their impact on not just the families, but all of us. We welcome you to the fight.
- Education of special ed teachers/staff on SMI “Teaching and working with kids with SMI.”
- Elimination of punitive behavior modification techniques, such as “isolation rooms.”
- Curriculum and program development for SMI/ED children K-12 (Expansion of OT clinics, activities that teach to students’ interest, etc. The primary goal is to engage the student in school and society, not college prep.)
- Development and funding for appropriate after-school programs for SMI kids.
- Education of general ed teachers/staff on signs and symptoms of mental illness and what to do.
- Separate program for students with diagnosed MI in school districts where there exists separate schools for ED students.
- Oppose “mainstreaming” (placing SMI children in mainstreaming classes to save money on special ed) for everything but non-academic activities.
- IEP design and service to fit individual student needs, free of charge
- Push school districts to terminate contracts with RTCs that do not fit medical model or have been flagged as abusive.
- Re-classification of ED to reflect medical diagnoses.
NON SCHOOL-BASED (COMMUNITY) INITIATIVES
- Development and funding of community mental health centers that serve all ages. These would provide both medical services and activities, plus referral for 72 hold if necessary. Here we would work on helping SMI function within the community, including cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene (most critical), taking meds. If they don’t come in every day to take their meds, we go looking for them. Basic functioning stuff. This is something no other organization does. We will go into the streets.
- Work with local and county police on how to deal with SMI individuals in tactical situations. This includes pushing police to make use of 5150. Police want to help. They just don’t know what to do when they get called to a person who has clear mental health problems. They don’t even know that they have the authority to force a hold until psych evaluation in ER.
- Fund expansion of more inpatient psych beds for under 18.
- Implementation of Laura’s Law in all California Counties.
- Release of Prop 63 (MHSA) funds to medical model programs ONLY.
PUBLIC OUTREACH INITIATIVES
- Educate the public on the life-threatening nature of SMI and what happens to SMI kids.
- Push for equating SMI with neurological disorders like Cerebral Palsy and Parkinson’s.