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Mental Health Policy

What Drives Our Dumb and Disorganized Mental Health Policies?

Allen Frances | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Allen Frances

In a rational world, the real needs of the mentally ill would be identified and addressed in an efficient and cost effective way. Those who need care would receive it. Unfortunately, policy in the United States is based mostly on profit, political power, and ideology -- thus producing terrible outcomes that are anything but rational.

Improving the American Mental Health System Requires Accurate History

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 10.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

Today's system is undoubtedly inadequate in many ways -- but it is better than it was when the transition to community mental health policy took place. It's important to recognize this because inaccurate history is not a good guide for making the current system better.

"These Days, You Have to Rob a Bank to Get Mental Health Treatment"

Allen Frances | Posted 07.09.2014 | Politics
Allen Frances

This is the cruel paradox haunting our mental health non-system -- we deliver way too much care to basically normal people who don't need it, while providing way too little care to the really sick people who desperately do.

A Must-Read for Mental Health Policy Makers: The New Edition of Mental Health and Social Policy

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 05.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

For many years the prior editions, written by David Mechanic alone, have been the standard text for students of mental health policy. This edition promises to continue to be the standard text because it provides so much information and insight so clearly and briefly.

America's Mental Health System Needs Improvement, But Gains of the Past Give Hope for the Future

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 05.18.2013 | Healthy Living
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

When a leading mental health advocate says, "The infrastructure for the public mental-health system is in the worst shape it's been in 40 years," I wonder what he's thinking. Maybe it's just rhetorical flourish, but it is false and counterproductive.

Mass Murder: Is There a Mental Health Issue?

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 03.19.2013 | Healthy Living
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

Is there anything that can be done by the field of mental health to reduce the rare incidence of murders by people with serious mental illness?

Recognizing Mental Health as Public Health

Neal L. Cohen, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Neal L. Cohen, M.D.

While 21st century approaches to public health have increasingly focused on healthy living with diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and access to preventive health care, there is a growing evidence base to incorporate mental health into our nation's public health agenda.

Dying With Your Rights On: Mental Illness, Civil Rights And Saving Lives

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD | Posted 08.07.2011 | Healthy Living
Lloyd I. Sederer, MD

I am a psychiatrist who has treated patients for over 35 years, but I still cannot bear to read or hear a story of a fatal outcome for a person with a serious mental illness who dies from neglect or some form of self-harm.

It's Easier to Get a Gun Than Mental Health Care

Dora Calott Wang, M.D. | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Dora Calott Wang, M.D.

Poor access to medical care jeopardizes an individual's health. But when the mentally ill or the seriously distressed can't access care, we are all at risk.

Meds can Reduce Homelessness but the Homeless (and Advocates) Don't Get It.

DJ Jaffe | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
DJ Jaffe

It's time for advocates to stop denying the role of untreated mental illness in causing homelessness. Treatment may not be a magic pill, but it's the closest thing we have.

Mental Health And Addiction Equity: New Updates, Long Overdue

Gabor Maté | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Gabor Maté

The updated Mental Health Parity Act implicitly recognizes that addiction is a mental health issue and that its consequences can be as debilitating as that of any chronic, severe physical illness.