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Terry's Love of the Empowered Life

by Marc Cowgill
picture of Terry smiling

Terry Grimes Ed.D. (1945-2011), a co-creator of our computer empowerment program, possessed an immense gift and passion for helping others, and this section of our site is dedicated to her inspirational and uplifting story, as well as some of her ideas about mental health advocacy.

I met Terry in 1996 in the context of a mental health support group she was leading. I was impressed by how carefully she listened to others and how smoothly she guided our discussion. When one spoke with Terry, one got a sense of her great sensitivity and compassion. Our group flourished for over ten years under her direction, and in time I came to know more about her life, her experience with major mental illness, and her triumph in overcoming the challenges confronting her.

Terry faced crippling mental disabilities, so much so that at one time in her life her doctors told her she no hope of recovery. She persevered nevertheless and became healthy enough to pursue an advanced degree at Virginia Tech, earning a doctorate in Education. Her gifts with words and language were put to use in many ways in her wide-ranging advocacy, including in her interactions with the Virginia Supreme Court on the Virginia Commission on Mental Health Law Reform. Terry was committed to equal rights for mental people and equal justice under the law. She enjoyed presenting our needs and perspectives to decision-makers at all levels of government and administration.

Terry was an immensely effective advocate, and among her strengths was her ability to express caring and support to those undergoing crisis. People would reach out to her at any time of the day or night and know Terry would be there ready to advocate on their behalf, help them obtain the medical care they required, or simply listen compassionately and support them through whatever challenge they were experiencing. Her ability to express love and caring to others is what I love most about her.

As reflected in Terry's obituary,she accomplished a great deal in her life, including the co-founding of the organization Empowerment For Healthy Minds, through which she communicated her views on several topics of interest to those in mental health advocacy. Below is a sampling of her thoughts in pdf format.

Terry's Views on Outpatient Forced Treatment

Our use of the term Recovery.

Terry's Case for Coming Out and Being Open About One's Diagnosis.

On Feeling Empowered in Our Treatment.

Terry, may your enthusiasm and joy in living such an empowered and virtuous life stay with us forever!