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Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 HEALTH & WELLNESS 616.89 LEV Adult NonFiction Book
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

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.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Levine, an investigative journalist, reveals how the nexus of power formed by the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA, Medicare, and Medicaid works against patients' best interests. His overall complaint is the improper use of antipsychotic medicines. For example, he writes, "over 90 percent of the estimated two million kids on Medicaid who received antipsychotics are prescribed them without the approval of the FDA"-meaning for uses other than those the FDA approved, also known as "off-label" uses. This problem is particularly pronounced at VA hospitals, he shows. Levine devotes each chapter to a different aspect of pharmaceutical abuse and corruption, which he humanizes with patients' stories. While he describes a horrifying panoply of problems, he also portrays whistleblowers and other heroes who work to protect patients. This well-researched book reveals the scope of an entrenched problem, but it also offers hope. Levine is optimistic that balanced treatment, with appropriate dosages and uses of antipsychotics in combination with other therapies, can greatly alleviate mental illness. Reading Levine's work might very well be the key to spurring concerned stakeholders into action. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
1 Drugging Our Kids: Corporate Greed Joins Corruption, Apathyp. 35
2 Nursing Homes: Drugging Our Seniors to Deathp. 53
3 The Secret History of the VA's Tragedies in Tomah and Phoenixp. 69
4 The Secret History of the VA Scandals, Part II: The Empire Strikes Backp. 87
5 A Marine's Descent into PTSD Hellp. 113
6 Stan White and the Veterans' Search for Truth and Answersp. 138
7 Mr. White Comes to Washington: FDA Showdown over Seroquelp. 146
8 Drug-Free PTSD Recoveryp. 161
9 How LA County's Mental Health Officials Neglect Inmates and Ignore Violencep. 170
10 To Live and Die in LA: How DMH's Outreach Work Saves Lives, Stops Mass Shootingsp. 185
11 Torture in Alabamap. 199
12 Profits and Losses from Residential Treatment: The Story of Bain Capital and CRC Healthp. 219
13 Recipe for Disaster?: Residential Treatment Programs for Addicts and Kidsp. 233
14 Florida: Free-Fire Zone for Killing, Abusing and Raping Kids?p. 246
15 Karen's Story and the Mental Health System That Never Was: Saving Families, Young People from Lifelong Madnessp. 257
16 Why Can't We Just Do What Works?p. 271
17 Putting People Before Big Pharma: Overcoming the Barriers to Recoveryp. 284
Endnotesp. 299
Assistance, Advocacy and Information Resource Guidep. 347
Acknowledgmentsp. 350

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