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Rose Bell served 10 days in jail
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She served 10 days in jail for a disturbance at church. Now that she’s been released, Rose Bell wants to spread the word about mental illness and its impact on her life.
“All I’m trying to do is be a Christian and now I feel like I have to rebuild my reputation because other people are trying to tear it down,” said Bell, 56, during an interview at the Standard. “The community needs to learn more about mental illness. I’ve been treated for a chemical imbalance since I was a teen. I was born with it. It’s just like cancer, heart disease or anything else. It requires treatment. I’ve been treated at CHEER for the last 12 to 14 years. I’ve been sent to Moccasin Bend and I’m trying really hard not to go back there. A mental hospital is not a fun place to be.”
Bell says she was experiencing issues Sunday morning, March 27, but decided to go to church anyway. She says she has been under a tremendous amount of stress lately with the loss of her mother to cancer in February and dealing with the terminal cancer of her sister right now. Bell says those worries intensify her mental problems.
“I tried to go to church in the middle of a nervous breakdown and I don’t really remember what happened,” said Bell. “I remember thinking the church was at full capacity, but that’s about all I remember. It’s the second time I’ve been charged with disorderly conduct when I was in the process of having a nervous breakdown. I don’t think I should be punished for mental illness. The only reason the police were called was for my own safety. Church members didn’t want me to drive and then I end up going to jail. If I didn’t plead guilty, I’d probably still be in there.”
Her pastor, Dr. Chris Sparkman, corroborates Bell’s story and says his concern was preventing Bell from driving home.
Bell says she is concentrating on resting and taking her medicine. She doesn’t want people to think she’s a bad person because she suffers from mental illness.
“I want to go to church and be the best Christian woman I can be,” said Bell. “I feel like I don’t have a good reputation anymore.”