Patty Duke champions help for the mentally ill

By Paula Tutman - Reporter

DETROIT - For those of us of a certain age, the name Patty Duke is synonymous with Hollywood.

She has an Oscar for her performance as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker," and played those "identical cousins" in "The Patty Duke Show."

But it wasn't until Anna Marie "Patty" Duke was 36 that she was diagnosed as being bi-polar. She didn't hide her illness, or tuck her head in the sand, she fought it, and continues to do so publicly in an effort to de-stigmatize mental illness.

Duke will be in metro Detroit Thursday evening to speak at a fundraising event for Kadima, an organization that supports people with mental illnesses. They have 26 group homes and homes that support independent living. That's where I met 51-year-old Salome.

Her favorite songs to play on the piano are "Stand by Me," and "Lean on Me."

They're interesting choices given that, had the Kadima organization not said she could lean on them seven years ago, she would still be homeless. They've stood by her and with help, Salome is getting more than just the basics of a home, art, music and support, she's also learning the basics.

"Getting up in the morning, showering in the morning and making breakfast, and different stuff like that," Salome said.

Those who don't work can head to Kadima's day center for activities and therapy.

Kadima clinical director Nancy Stein said their services fill a need in the community.

"They would be wandering the streets, they would be without medication, they'd be suffering. They'd be hearing voices, their behavior would be erratic," she said. "I think because of the supervision and the comprehension treatment that we're able to provide to them, they can remain stable."

Find out more:

And here's a look back at the classic show:


Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.