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In ‘Healing’ a doctor calls for an overhaul of the mental health care system

0 2 years ago

For over a decade, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Thomas Insel headed the National Institute of Mental Health and directed billions of dollars into research on neuroscience and the genetic underpinnings of mental illnesses. “Our efforts were largely to say, ‘How can we understand mental.

“Our efforts were largely to say, ‘How can we understand mental disorders as brain disorders, and how can we develop better tools for diagnosis and treatment?'” Insel said in an interview with NPR.

But in the very first pages of his new book, Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health, he admits that the results of that research have largely failed to help Americans struggling with mental illnesses.

“Our science was looking for causes, while the effects of these disorders were playing out with more death and disability, incarceration and homelessness, and increasing frustration and despair for both patients and families,” writes Insel.

But Insel’s book is less about the failure of science in helping people and more a critique of almost every aspect of the mental health system.

NPR sat down with Insel to talk about how he came to realize where America had failed and his journey to find the answers to addressing the country’s mental health crisis.


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