Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute is a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Currently a professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Dr. Torrey was educated at Princeton University (B.A., Magna Cum Laude), McGill University (M.D.) and Stanford University (M.A. in anthropology) and was trained in psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He practiced general medicine in Ethiopia for two years as a Peace Corps physician, in the South Bronx in an Office of Equal Opportunity (O.E.O.) Health Center and in Alaska in the Indian Health Service. From 1970 to 1975, he was a special assistant to the director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Torrey is now a frequent expert guest on national radio and television and has written innumerable guest opinions for national and regional newspapers and magazines. He is the author of 20 books and more than 200 lay and professional papers.
As tragedies like those that have occurred in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson continue to rise, public-policy reforms that could improve the treatment of patients afflicted with mental illness and help reduce mass killings in the United States are needed. At the March 6th Young Leaders Circle, Dr. Torrey discussed his new book, The Insanity Offense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens, which chronicles the history of legislation and changes in the mental health-care system over the past 50 years and explained—with this historical overview in mind—how the current system is failing mentally-ill patients and what needs to be done to fix it. Even as members of Congress, the President, and others call for increased gun control to help prevent future mass killings, tightening bans on firearms will not address the core problem.