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October 18 @ 8:00 pmFree
The no-holds-barred and crucial call to action for America’s broken mental health system, by a prize-winning investigative journalist
The mental health system in America is hardly the front-burner issue it should be, despite lip service about reform after each new tragic mass killing. Yet every American should care deeply about fixing a system a presidential commission reported was in “shambles.” By some measures, 20 percent of Americans have some sort of mental health condition, including the most vulnerable among us―veterans, children, the elderly, prisoners, the homeless.
With Mental Health, Inc., award-winning investigative journalist Art Levine delivers a Shock Doctrine-style exposé of the failures of our out of control, profit-driven mental health system, with a special emphasis on dangerous residential treatment facilities and the failures of the pharmaceutical industry, including the overdrugging of children with antipsychotics and the disastrous maltreatment of veterans with PTSD by the scandal-wracked VA.
Levine provides compelling narrative portraits of victims who needlessly died and some mentally ill people who won unexpected victories in their lives by getting smart, personalized help from “pyschosocial” programs that incorporate safe and appropriate prescribing, along with therapy and social support. He contrasts their stories with corrupt Big Pharma executives and researchers who created fraudulent marketing schemes. Levine also tells the dramatic David vs. Goliath stories of a few brave reformers, including Harvard-trained psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, who has acted as a whistleblower in several major cases, leading to important federal and state settlements; in addition, the book spotlights pioneering clinicians challenging outmoded, drug-and-sedate practices that leave 90 percent of people with serious mental illness too disabled to work.
By taking a comprehensive look at mental health abuses and dangerous, ineffective practices as well as pointing toward solutions for creating a system for effective, proven and compassionate care, Art Levine’s essential Mental Health, Inc. is a call to action for politicians and citizens alike―needed now more than ever.
About the Author:
Art Levine, a prize-winning contributing editor of The Washington Monthly and a Nation Institute Investigative Fund grantee, has written for The American Prospect, Salon, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Truthout, AlterNet and numerous other publications. Among other awards, he was honored as “Journalist of the Year” by the Florida chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 2001 for his articles in City Link, a Florida weekly, exploring the criminalization of the mentally ill in South Florida. In 2005, as a Health Policy Fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute, he wrote a prescient major report, Parity-Plus: A Third Way Approach to Fix America’s Mental Health System that looked at roadblocks to using effective treatments. Since then, he has exposed a wide range of corporate and government wrongdoing, in a series of articles for The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly and Salon, among others.