Defying Mental Illness

Friday, January 6, 2012



Paul Komarek is the author of Defying Mental Illness, which brings the techniques of mental illness recovery to general audiences. Through his consulting practice, Human Intervention, Mr. Komarek helps non-profit agencies, small businesses and government agencies create sustainable community programs that transform people’s lives. He is an adjunct faculty member at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Mr. Komarek is a graduate of American University's School of International Service and Northern Kentucky University's Chase College of Law.

Mr. Komarek began his career as a Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration. He practiced law, worked for Catholic Social Services and the Urban League, and served as Executive Director of Recovery Resource Center, a substance abuse treatment program. Mr. Komarek has been active in NAMI, and developed a NAMI Ohio training program, "Working with People with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System," which has been presented in courts and jails across Ohio, and has become mandatory training for deputy jailers in Kentucky.

Mr. Komarek's consulting work focuses on licensing and accreditation, curriculum development, community engagement and communications. His clients have included YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Joseph House for Homeless Veterans, Collaborative Law Center, the Center for Mediation of Disputes, Envision Learning Center, HOPE4CHANGE Business Development Center, and Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy.

Mr. Komarek served on the Hamilton County SAMI Initiative, a multisystem effort to develop an integrated system of treatment for people with co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorders. In 2010-2011 he led a public-private planning initiative aimed at creating a system of volunteer-delivered mediation and restorative justice programs to divert misdemeanor cases from court. He serves on the Board of Directors of West End Health Center and Winton Hills Opportunity Connection.

Learn more about Paul Komarek at Follow Paul Komarek on Twitter @pkomarek


Andrea Schroer is a teacher and educational consultant who assists schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses in reaching self-sufficiency through recommendations and training in the areas of tutoring, after-school programming, and child care licensure.

Learn more at

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Author Randye Kaye Reviews Defying Mental Illness

Here's what author Randye Kaye has written about Defying Mental Illness.
For all of us, I think this book is an excellent companion. It is well-researched, well-written, and clear. My congratulations and thanks to the authors for providing an accessible manual that I can recommend as a concrete resource to anyone needing clear guidelines about mental illness, its effect on the family, and the recovery process.
They state, in the introduction, that the goal was to write “a book that is not too technical, and suitable for community outreach work.” This is beautifully accomplished.
We're grateful for this kind review, part of the "mental illness in the family" blog at - read the whole review at this link.

Randye Kaye is the author of Ben Behind His Voices, the story of a family coping with the onset of schizophrenia in its midst. Ms. Kaye and her family have had to live through times of conflict, separation and difficult choices on their path towards a resolution. Their courage and determination show through.

It's a story many of us have experienced. Family members struggle to understand what is happening as we watch a person's behavior and course of life change. After things settle, sometimes years later, people come to terms with what it takes to lead or support a stable successful life.

Ms. Kaye tops off her storytelling by including helpful resource links. Readers can see parallels with their own journeys, and connect with resources they might have missed. Plus, if you are the person in your family who has symptoms, Ms. Kaye's book can help you see how your struggles affect the people you love, and how their love and concern for you can help inform your choices as you move towards recovery. 

Direct link to Randye Kaye's review of Defying Mental Illness:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Defying Mental Illness Authors Present at Northern Kentucky Counselor's Association Meeting

Paul Komarek and Andrea Schroer presented at the Northern Kentucky Counselor's Association, December 2, 2011.

Their three-hour workshop focused on how conversations change lives, demonstrating techniques that help people generate possibilities and build commitment. These techniques are built into Defying Mental Illness: Finding Recovery with Community Resources and Family Support.