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DJ Jaffe
DJ Jaffe is the founder of Mental Illness Policy 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 or visit

Entries by DJ Jaffe

Mentally Ill Lives Matter

(3) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Question: Why do people call police to handle someone with mental illness? Answer: Because calling the mental health system is almost always useless.
The day after Christmas, allegedly mentally ill Quintonio LeGrier came after Chicago police with a bat and was shot by one. So was Bettie Jones. A
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Washington's Amazing Mental Health Legislation

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 1:51 PM

A version of this originally appeared in the excellent blog created by former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley, author of Crazy, A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness.

The bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR2646) was recently passed by the Health Subcommittee...

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Remember Chris Harper Mercer, the Person who Killed Ten

(9) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 2:49 PM

In a press conference covering the brutal mass murders at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Sheriff John Hanlin defiantly refused to mention the name of the perpetrator, Chris Harper Mercer, and encouraged the media to do the same. The media should reject the Sheriff's request because understanding this particular shooter...

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New Report Identifies $4-$8 Billion Waste and Excess Profits in Mental Health System

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 7:08 PM

Fraud, Waste and Excess Profits: The Fate of Money Intended to Treat People with Serious Mental Illness calculates $4-8 billion in public mental health funds are lost annually to fraud waste and excess profits that go mainly to managed care companies. According to lead author, Dr. E. Fuller...

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Hillary Clinton's History on Mental Illness Policy

(3) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 1:57 PM

According to the Washington Post, Hillary Clinton's staff said she will make mental health a focus of her campaign, but her history on the issue doesn't bode well. To understand why, look back to January 25, 1993, when President Bill Clinton created a President's Health Care Reform Task...

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Book Review: Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform

(7) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 6:18 PM

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform by Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove aspires to be an important book, but is a misleading one that covers little new ground. The authors repeat the oft-told story of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)...

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Book Review: Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry (and Antipsychiatry) Gets Told

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 5:01 PM

When a non-fiction book by someone in power, like Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by former American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey Lieberman includes a description of dropping acid you know you're in for a fun read.

My [LSD] trip did produce one lasting insight, though--one that I...

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Plot Against John Boehner Points to Need for Mental Health Reform

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 6:15 PM

According to newspaper reports, Michael Hoyt allegedly had a plan to poison Speaker Boehner. If true, it shows the importance of passing the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR-3717) proposed by Representative Tim Murphy (R. PA) when it is reintroduced in 2015. Hoyt is...

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NYPD Shooting: Cuomo Should Sign "Prisoner Mental Health Discharge Planning Bill" Today

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 12:08 PM

Even after a reportedly mentally ill ex-prisoner, Ismaaiyl Brinkley shot New York City Police Department officers, Liu Wenjin and Raphael Ramos, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is refusing to sign a bill (S7818) that passed both houses and is on his desk right now.


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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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