- How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System
- Narrated by: Stephen McLaughlin
- Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 16-06-14
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Fifty years after Kennedy's speech, E. Fuller Torrey's audiobook provides an inside perspective on the birth of the federal mental health program. On staff at the National Institute of Mental Health when the program was being developed and implemented, Torrey draws on his own first-hand account of the creation and launch of the program, extensive research, one-on-one interviews with people involved, and recently unearthed audiotapes of interviews with major figures involved in the legislation. As such, this book provides historical material previously unavailable to the public.
Many now wonder why public mental illness services are so ineffective. At least one-third of the homeless are seriously mentally ill, jails and prisons are grossly overcrowded, largely because the seriously mentally ill constitute 20 percent of prisoners, and public facilities are overrun by untreated individuals. As Torrey argues, it is imperative to understand how we got here in order to move forward towards providing better care for the most vulnerable.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kevin on 13-07-14
Devastating analysis on US mental health policy!
What made the experience of listening to American Psychosis the most enjoyable?
This audiobook starts pretty slow, but the historical preamble sets the stage for the more-concise facts that start pouring in during the 2nd half.
The topic of mental health, de-institutionalization, lack of accountability, and for-profit "solutions" are highly relevant. Just walk in the city and you'll encounter the consequences when you pass the homeless people muttering to themselves. And that's only the portion that are not incarcerated or in for-profit nursing homes (which should be used for the elderly).
What about Stephen McLaughlin’s performance did you like?
Honestly took me a while to get used to, but the story makes up for it.
If you could give American Psychosis a new subtitle, what would it be?
When making public policy, use science/research/evidence over ideology.
In this book, the shutting down of State mental hospitals was based on ideology around society and mental health that sounded good but parts of it were simply not backed by scientific evidence (which admittedly was sparse during that time since psychiatry was still in its infancy). The movement had no chance of evolving during the Nixon/Reagen era: they not only supported privatization, they were hostile to psychiatry!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Tish on 21-10-14
The narration is quite poor.
I mean, maybe this is a good book, but it's not a good audiobook. The narration is halting and unprofessional. Narrators often over-act, which is irritating, but here there is no intonation at all. Couldn't make myself listen through it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful