After Brad’s death, his mom sought answers and was an advocate for transparency and accountability. She fought to bring awareness to her son’s case but more importantly to bring awareness to the community concerning mental illness. Her initial step was raising money on Facebook to spearhead her “Mental Illness is Not a Crime” campaign.
Exhausted, isolated, grieving and suffering PTSD, Ms. Peyton was passing by the street where Brad’s death occurred and realized if she was suffering this trauma, what might the other officers and first responders be going through as they returned to their families. The enormity of what they experience daily and what that must do to their mental health. An epiphany occurred and rather than becoming embittered, Ms. Peyton began to turn the horrific incident into a movement that would prevent others from the trauma she was experiencing and help First Responders who might be suffering in silence. As she said out loud “We have got to get real about this or more will die”, the idea of GRAMI emerged and the realization that once again there would be “Beauty from Ashes”.
The mission of “Getting Real About Mental Illness” is to change the cultural mindset toward and the treatment of those with mental illness by providing education and financial resources to First Responders who interact with them and to destigmatize mental illness among the public