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Event Health Serious Mental Illness

Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

Thursday April 2017


DJ Jaffe Executive Director, Mental Illness Policy Org

More than 10 million Americans suffer from serious mental illness, including extreme depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Many—often despite the efforts of family and friends—go untreated, too.

Meanwhile, the federal government spends $147 billion annually on mentalhealth programs; yet acts of violence, suicide, homelessness, victimization, and incarceration among the severely mentally ill have spiked over the last 20 years.

In Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill, DJ Jaffe—a longtime advocate for the mentally ill and a driving force behind the passage of New York's Kendra's Law—explains how America is failing some of its most vulnerable citizens: psychiatric hospitals continue to be closed; involuntary commitment criteria continue to be narrowed to the point where laws now require violence rather than prevent it; the public is increasingly endangered; and the seriously mentally ill and their families suffer needlessly.

DJ Jaffe is executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org, a think tank. He has served on many nonprofit boards, including the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. A regulator contributor to the Huffi ngton Post, Jaffe's writing has also appeared in, among others, City Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and National Review.