Meg Kissinger

Pulitzer Prize finalist Meg Kissinger is the author of While You Were Out, a searing memoir of a family besieged by mental illness. The book is an incisive exploration of the systems that failed them and a testament to the love that sustained them. Powerful, candid and filled with surprising humor, this is the story of one family’s love and resilience in face of great loss.

Kissinger spent more than two decades traveling across the country writing about America’s mental health system for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She has won dozens of accolades, including two George Polk Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and two National Journalism Awards.

Kissinger is a trainer for the Dart Center for Trauma and Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously taught investigative reporting and was a visiting professor at DePauw University, her alma mater. Her stories on the abysmal living conditions for people with mental illness inspired changes to state law and led to the creation of hundreds of new housing units. Meg Kissinger lives in Milwaukee with her husband.

Robert Laitman

Dr. Robert Laitman is an internist who specializes in the use of clozapine in an optimal approach for individuals with schizophrenia or other psychotic spectrum disorders. When his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006, Dr. Laitman became an expert on the treatment of psychosis and expanded his practice to include taking care of people with psychotic disorders. Dr. Laitman uses a biopsychosocial approach in his treatment and prescription of the antipsychotic clozapine and he works to mitigate medication side effects with a wraparound approach that includes other medications. His treatment team includes his wife, Dr. Ann Mandel, and a psychiatric social worker.

Dr. Laitman emphasizes the importance of diet and exercise and he and his staff try to help individuals with housing, education, and vocational training. In addition, he is cofounder and president of the mental illness advocacy and support charity Team Daniel Running for Recovery from Mental Illness. Dr. Laitman is co-author of Meaningful Recovery from Schizophrenia and Serious Mental Illness with Clozapine.