Let’s Celebrate Our Workforce

Every day when he left home to serve as the attending psychiatrist at an inpatient unit at a general hospital, he wondered whether he would contract COVID at work that day and bring it home to his wife and two small children. Maybe he had already brought it home. Had stripping in the garage and...

Pain and Its Impact on the Opioid Epidemic

In several past articles on the opioid epidemic in America, I have complained that the problem of severe, chronic pain has been overlooked as a contributing factor. It appears that that is no longer true. For example, a very recent report by the National Academies of Science to the Food and Drug...

To Improve Adolescent Mental Health, We May Need to Address Adverse World Events

It appears that the prevalence of mental disorders among adolescents has been increasing. The National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows an increase in major depressive episodes.1 A study about children and adolescence who are eligible for SSI by virtue of mental disabilities found an...

Will “System Transformation” Transform the System? Before We Celebrate: 20 Questions That Need Answers

System transformation is underway in New York State and throughout the United States through the development of elaborate financial structures such as accountable care organizations and health homes. No doubt these new structures will change the way business is done in the mental health system. But...

Deaths of Despair: Social Research Suggests Troubling Trends for the Next Generation of Older Adults

Recent social research suggests that the next generation of older adults may be more troubled than the current and previous generations. This, of course, is counterintuitive. 70 is the new 50, we say; 80 the new 60. We are living longer, and we are healthier, right? Yes, but will the next...

Legalization of Drugs: The Ultimate Harm Reduction Measure

Illegal drugs are dangerous, but many of their dangers are caused by their illegality rather than the drugs themselves. Yes, the use of illegal (and some legal) drugs results in addiction. But if we really want to reduce the dangers of drug abuse, we must address its illegality as well as the...

Why Integrated Care for Co-Occurring Disorders Is So Important

Providing integrated treatment for people with co-occurring behavioral and physical health disorders has become a central goal of mental health policy reform. Why? In part the answer is that the failure to provide effective integrated care drives up the cost of care. But the answer also is that...

Fight Against Threats to Behavioral Heath Funding

The Trump presidency and Republican control of the Congress may do great damage to the already inadequate American mental health system by repealing the Affordable Care Act, eliminating Medicaid as an entitlement, privatizing Medicare, and limiting the authority of the states to regulate health...

The Presidential Election: Time for Behavioral Health Advocates to Speak Out

The next President of the United States can act to improve or to harm the American mental health system. Behavioral health advocates should speak out now to provide the political pressure that will be needed to improve rather than to harm the system. Preserve The Affordable Care Act Perhaps the...

Congressional Mental Health Policy Reform: Hope or Hype?

Since the tragic killings in Newtown, CT in 2013, most politicians have mistakenly maintained that mass murder is largely a consequence of a “broken” mental health system. In Washington, and elsewhere, elected officials have been promising to “fix” the system, and to their credit they have...