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DJ Jaffe
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DJ Jaffe is the founder of Mental Illness Policy Org http://mentalillnesspolicy.org which provides the media and public officials with unbiased information about "serious" mental illness from a pro-treatment perspective. It covers issues of violence, deinstitutionalization, not guilty by reason of insanity, assisted outpatient treatment, involuntary commitment, involuntary treatment and other issues.

DJ has been advocating for better treatment for individuals with serious mental illness for over 30 years.

DJ has served multiple terms on the board of directors of the Metro-New York City Alliance on Mental Illness, New York State Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is a member of the Leadership Council of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. He was a cofounder and former board member of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, VA.

DJ has been extensively quoted by major broadcasters and publishers. His op-eds on mental health policy have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Review and numerous other publications. He has also written magazine articles on mental health care policy. Unlike many other advocates, all DJ’s work is focused exclusively on the most severely mentally ill; those who are often homeless, incarcerated or institutionalized. Those who may refuse medications or not respond to them. Those who have been abandoned by many other mental advocates who focus on issues important to individuals with less severe mental illnesses and are usually relatively high functioning.

He is a giant fan of Dr. E. Fuller Torrey and suggests everyone read his writings.

To reach DJ, email office@mentalillnesspolicy.org or visit http://mentalillnesspolicy.org

Entries by DJ Jaffe

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A year with the Criminally Insane

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 1:14 PM

In Behind the Gates of Gomorrah (Gallery Books. September, 2014), Dr. Stephen Seager describes what goes on behind the barbed wire fence at NAPA State Forensic Hospital in California where persons with serious mental illness found not guilty by reason of insanity, unfit to stand trial or were...

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Major Police Group: Mandated Treatment Can Help Some Mentally Ill

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 9:35 PM

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) approved a resolution calling for greater use of mandated treatment, commonly known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), at their annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Research shows that AOT reduces arrest, suicide, involuntary hospitalization and violence by the most seriously...

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Omar Gonzalez, President Obama and Safety from Mentally Ill Assassins

(9) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 4:01 PM

The recent scaling of the White House fence and entry into the front door of the White House by Omar Gonzalez should focus our attention on a bipartisan bill in Congress that attempts to get help to people with serious mental illness and might prevent events like this from happening...

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The Hall of Shame -- Who Is Failing the Severely Ill?

(9) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 3:12 PM

This is the fourth in a series of blogs devoted to our society's shameful neglect of people with severe mental illness.

'Stigmatizing and Shunning The Mentally Ill' described the lack of treatment and housing that has led to their massive imprisonment and homelessness.

In '

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Is the Nonprofit Mental Health Industry Misleading Congress?

(30) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 11:47 PM

Congress is being misled by the nonprofit mental health industry, which argues that ordinary life events like bad grades, being unemployed, having an unhappy marriage, and this year's cause célèbre, bullying, are the mental illnesses worthy of congressional funding. They ignore the homeless and psychotic who can't get treatment, sleep...

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Affordable Care Act Fails Seriously Mentally Ill

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 12:55 PM

There are many provisions Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare") that combined with mental health parity laws will help people with mental health issues get care. For example, the ability to keep a child on a parents' insurance policy until age 26 will help many who develop mental illness before...

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Best Book on Schizophrenia: Surviving Schizophrenia, 6th Edition

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 5:37 PM

Surviving Schizophrenia is the best, most informative book on schizophrenia. Dr. Torrey brilliantly interlaced quotes by people with schizophrenia with the science and his own experience as a researcher, family member, and advocate. The result is a compassionate fact packed guidebook for families of those with schizophrenia and...

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New Bill Decreases Mental Health Funding, Increases Mental Illness Funding

(7) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 9:55 AM

Representative Tim Murphy (R., PA) introduced a bill that proposes decreasing mental health spending and increasing mental illness spending. It's a novel, thoughtful proposal that warrants serious consideration.

While up to 40 percent of Americans may have what someone defines as a mental health issue, they...

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Justifiable Homicides by Police Resulting From Attacks by Allegedly Mentally Ill Rising

(5) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 4:04 PM

Mental health advocates are rightfully indignant because there appears to be an increasing number of persons allegedly with mental illness who are killed in altercations with police. In Dallas Bobby Bennett was shot by police after his mom called police for help. In Fullerton, Calif., officers are on...

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Obama Mental Illness Parity Regs Fail the Seriously Mentally Ill

(4) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 5:58 PM

The Obama administration announced new regulations requiring private insurers to do what the federal government wont: provide health care coverage for mental illnesses equal to that provided for other physical illnesses. The new regulations will help many, but only few of the most seriously mentally ill. And while...

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American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System

(15) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 2:28 PM

After every mental illness related tragedy -- think: Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Unabomber, Navy Yard -- the media and politicians call on Dr. Fuller Torrey for his effective, informed and cost-efficient ideas on how to prevent the next mental illness-related tragedy. And then everyone goes on as if...

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New Report Details Massive Misspending in California's Mental Health Services Act

(8) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 8:05 PM

A version of the following, by this author, appeared in San Diego Union Tribune on August 15, 2013.

In 2004, California voters enacted a 1 percent tax on millionaires to improve care for people with serious mental illness. It is no doubt some were helped. It is no...

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Review: Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 11:08 AM

Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience by Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld is an important book on an emerging problem: brain-scan-driven pop psychology in mass media. From the introduction:

You've seen the headlines: This is your brain on love. Or God. Or envy. Or happiness. And...
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SAMHSA Slammed by Congress... And for Good Reason

(7) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 9:18 AM

In his opening statement to Wednesday's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearings on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), well-informed Dr. Tim Murphy (R-PA) noted

The Center for Mental Health Services, housed at SAMHSA, has a budget of approximately $1 billion per year. It...

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NIMH: Neurology Trumps Psychiatry

(5) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 1:27 PM

There's a battle brewing over the future of mental illness. In one corner is the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defending their new release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as the best way to define who has a mental illness and who doesn't. In the other...

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Senator Steinberg Stands in Way of Laura's Law

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 12:39 PM

Laura's Law helps the most seriously mentally ill Californians: people who are so ill, they don't know they are ill and therefore won't accept voluntary treatment. It allows courts to order a small group of people who have serious mental illness and a history of dangerousness to stay...

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Obama's Mental Health Plan: Failure in the Making

(10) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 6:28 PM

The mental health plan just proposed by the Obama administration includes spending $130 million to "train teachers and other adults to help recognize early signs of mental illness," $50 million to train mental-health specialists who work in schools, and $25 million "to address the trauma experienced by children."...

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Congressman Tim Murphy 'Gets' Serious Mental Illness

(5) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 11:33 AM

As a lifelong Democrat, it pains me to say the best advocate for people with serious mental illness appears to be Representative Tim Murphy, the Republican Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

For most leaders, once there is a "Mentally Ill Killer on Rampage" (sic)...

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New California Bills Could Improve Treatment for Mentally Ill

(11) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 11:43 AM

Bills Clarify MHSA Funds Can Be Used For Laura's Law and Make Other Improvements

California has two major laws that were specifically enacted to help persons with the most serious mental illnesses: Laura's Law and the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Neither has worked as promised and on...

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Ed Koch, Billie Boggs, and Serious Mental Ilness

(10) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 2:11 PM

In the 1980s, when Ed Koch was mayor, the streets of New York were full of homeless psychotic mentally individuals who had been abandoned by the mental health system. This was before Mayor Rudy Giuliani decided to implement his "three strikes and you're out" laws to incarcerate the mentally ill...

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