Insane consequences How the mental health industry fails the mentally ill

D. J. Jaffe, 1954-

Book - 2017

"In this in-depth critique of the mental healthcare system, a leading advocate for the mentally ill argues that the system fails to adequately treat the most seriously ill. He proposes major reforms to bring help to schizophrenics, the severely bipolar, and others"--

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Subjects
Published
Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books 2017.
Language
English
Physical Description
363 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781633882911
1633882918
Main Author
D. J. Jaffe, 1954- (author)
Review by Choice Reviews

Jaffe, executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on mental health policy, has penned an account detailing the mental health industry's shortcomings in addressing key areas of mental health in the United States. By discussing relationships between mental health organizations, mental health infrastructure and practice, and the need of the mentally ill, Jaffe presents a versatile purview on tensions between mental health needs and the prevalence of successful health services and support. This book also focuses on the ascent and current state of mental health knowledge and systemic practice in late-20th- and early-21st-century America. The author achieves this productively antagonistic examination through the lens of history, health organizational architecture, and the influence of policy on clinical practice. Jaffe's book is a meaningful contribution to mental health literacy, and a solid resource for any individual interested in the policy and practice of mental health services. The book is useful for those teaching or practicing in the area of mental health, as well as individuals in the field of health policy and public health. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals.--L. H. Taylor Jr., Oregon Health & Science UniversityLuther Hill TaylorOregon Health & Science University Luther Hill Taylor Choice Reviews 55:04 December 2017 Copyright 2017 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 365,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones. DJ Jaffe blames the mental health industry and government for shunning the 10 million adults who are the most seriously mentally ill--mainly those who suffer from schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder--and, instead, working to improve "mental wellness" in 43 million others, many of whom are barely symptomatic. Using industry and government documents, scientific journals, and anecdotes from his thirty years of advocacy, he documents the insane consequences of these industry-driven policies: psychiatric hospitals that once served the seriously ill have been closed; involuntary commitment criteria have been narrowed to the point where laws now require violence rather than prevent it; the public is endangered; and the mentally ill and their families are forced to suffer. Insane Consequences proposes smart, compassionate, affordable, and sweeping reforms designed to send the most seriously ill to the head of the line for services rather than to jails, shelters, prisons, and morgues. It lays out a roadmap to replace mission-creep with mission control and return the mental health system to a focus on the most seriously mentally ill. It is not money that is lacking; it's leadership. This book is a must read for anyone who works in the mental health industry or cares about the mentally ill, violence, homelessness, incarceration, or public policy"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Critically examines the mental health system in the United States and advocates for the industry to focus more on the seriously ill.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"In this in-depth critique of the mental healthcare system, a leading advocate for the mentally ill argues that the system fails to adequately treat the most seriously ill. He proposes major reforms to bring help to schizophrenics, the severely bipolar, and others"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Author D. J. Jaffe is executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org. His opinion pieces appear in major newspapers and he is seen on TV. In this book for general readers, policy makers, family members, and all those who work with mentally ill clients, Jaffe criticizes policies and priorities of the American mental health system that lead to a lack of services for the most severely ill. He analyzes government and industry sources, draws on scientific research, and refers to his 30 years of experiences in the field of advocacy for the mentally ill in organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Treatment Advocacy Center. He describes the negative outcomes of government policies and court decisions over the past 30 years, such as closing psychiatric hospitals and restricting involuntary commitment. He advocates for a shift away from warehousing the mentally ill in jails and instead providing in-patient services in order to prevent crime, violence, and homelessness. Readers will recognize the book’s many real-life examples familiar from the news. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 5

This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones. DJ Jaffe blames the mental health industry and the government for shunning the 10 million adults who are the most seriously mentally ill--mainly those who suffer from schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder--and, instead, working to improve "mental wellness" in 43 million others, many of whom are barely symptomatic. Using industry and government documents, scientific journals, and anecdotes from his thirty years of advocacy, Jaffe documents the insane consequences of these industry-driven policies: psychiatric hospitals for the seriously ill are still being closed; involuntary commitment criteria are being narrowed to the point where laws now require violence rather than prevent it; the public is endangered; and the mentally ill and their families are forced to suffer.Insane Consequences proposes smart, compassionate, affordable, and sweeping reforms designed to send the most seriously ill to the head of the line for services rather than to jails, shelters, prisons, and morgues. It lays out a road map to spend less on mental "health" and more on mental "illness"--replace mission creep with mission control and return the mental health system to a focus on the most seriously ill. It is not money that is lacking; it's leadership. This book is a must-read for anyone who works in the mental health industry or cares about the mentally ill, violence, homelessness, incarceration, or public policy.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones. DJ Jaffe blames the mental health industry and the government for shunning the 10 million adults who are the most seriously mentally ill--mainly those who suffer from schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder--and, instead, working to improve "mental wellness" in 43 million others, many of whom are barely symptomatic. Using industry and government documents, scientific journals, and anecdotes from his thirty years of advocacy, Jaffe documents the insane consequences of these industry-driven policies: psychiatric hospitals for the seriously ill are still being closed; involuntary commitment criteria are being narrowed to the point where laws now require violence rather than prevent it; the public is endangered; and the mentally ill and their families are forced to suffer.Insane Consequences proposes smart, compassionate, affordable, and sweeping reforms designed to send the most seriously ill to the head of the line for services rather than to jails, shelters, prisons, and morgues. It lays out a road map to spend less on mental "health" and more on mental "illness"--replace mission creep with mission control and return the mental health system to a focus on the most seriously ill. It is not money that is lacking; it's leadership. This book is a must-read for anyone who works in the mental health industry or cares about the mentally ill, violence, homelessness, incarceration, or public policy.