Herschel is a long-time advocate for those with a serious mental illness and their families. He has a son with schizophrenia. He was active in the North Shore Schizophrenia Society (NSSS), now the Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society, for a couple of decades, 1993-2014, in a variety of roles including Family-to-Family (education course) teacher and provincial coordinator, Fundraising Team co-chair, president, advocacy coordinator and editor of the NSSS Advocacy Bulletin, acting executive director, and community outreach presenter. He also filled in at NSSS, when needed, as a one-on-one peer family crisis counsellor. He worked closely in the society with his wife, Marguerite Hardin, who founded its Family Support Centre and was its longtime support coordinator. He is the author of a bellwhether article on involuntary admission, “Uncivil Liberties,” an op-ed piece written for the Vancouver Sun in 1993, and other articles on issues involving mental illness and the B.C. Mental Health Act. In his “civilian life,” as he calls it, Herschel has been an author, playwright, radio broadcaster, and newspaper columnist, among other things in the past.