The title selected for this season’s local One Book/One Community program isn’t exactly light summer reading, but the book treats an important public policy issue that’s certainly worth exploring.

We’re talking about “Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness,” which One Book/One Community organizers are urging Baton Rouge area residents to read and share in coming weeks.

Modeled on similar efforts across the country, One Book/One Community encourages readers from all walks of life to read and discuss the same book. The idea is to encourage reading and civic togetherness.

Authored by investigative journalist Pete Earley, “Crazy” recounts Earley’s odyssey through the mental health system after his adult son was diagnosed with a mental illness.

Earley discovered a confusing maze of laws and policies that steer mentally ill Americans into jails and prisons, rather than treatment hospitals.

Earley and a panel of experts will discuss the issues raised in his book at 7 p.m. July 28 at LSU’s Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. The event is free and open to the public.

Copies of “Crazy” are available at local bookstores and libraries.

More information about One Book/One Community is available on the Internet at

We urge residents to participate in this summer’s One Book/One Community program, which promises ample room for thought.

We hope discussions of “Crazy” here and across the country help advance more enlightened treatment policies for the thousands of Americans who suffer from mental health problems each day.