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Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill
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Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment f ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Prometheus Books
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Natasha Tracy
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
This is an amazing book. If you are a mental health advocate, you need to read it, now. It details what the mental health system in the United States really is like for those with serious mental illness. This book focuses on the 4% of people who are seriously ill with bipolar, schizophrenia and the like, and skips the issues of the "worried well". I consider myself an educated mental illness advocate and I learned so much. There are real-life stories here that you likely won't read about anywher ...more
Erin
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely thought provoking for anyone interested in improving the lives of people that suffer from serious mental illnesses or in learning more about how our mental health system is a blatant failure. DJ Jaffe raises important but harsh criticisms of many mainstream organizations working to improve mental health. Jaffe claims that a shifting focus towards wellness has led to the exclusion of the seriously mentally ill from federally funded and other advocacy orgs and treatment prov ...more
Marcela
DJ Jaffe tends to have very polarizing views on how mental illness should be approached and often appoints himself as spokesperson for seriously mentally ill. I almost put this book down when he characterized people on disability as high functioning people who game the system so they don't have to work.He is dismissive of efforts to fight stigma saying that prejudice and discrimination should be fought by changing laws the way he says it is for African Americans and gays which made me think he d ...more
Jana Collins
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the parent of an adult child with schizophrenia who is disabled by his illness, I found this book to be accurate and validating. The system is broken and even though my husband and I possess advanced degrees and are upper middle class, we have found it nearly impossible to navigate the system. Try finding a psychiatrist first of all. It takes months to get an appointment and most of them don’t take insurance. $300 per session out of pocket. Try getting the insurance you have to cover your chi ...more
Sara
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a social worker in a psychiatric hospital so my opinions on this may be biased.

Jaffe makes many clear and emotionally driven points about how messed up our mental health care system is. There were many eye opening moments for me. We can thank the deinstitutionalization movement for the current mess we are in. Once many of the state hospitals closed, the most seriously mentally ill had no place to go. Now, the majority of our sickest are stuck in jails or on the streets.

If you're not in th
...more
Erin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
DJ Jaffe knows his stuff and is very passionate with good intentions but his agenda is an extreme one. He has done his research. He exposes much about agencies that are doing a disservice to the seriously mentally ill and although I agree we can do better as an industry this book is very emotionally driven and radical in it's approach. His recommendations for solutions are just to cut all programs completely that he doesn't agree with. Which makes it hard to take him seriously. I certainly agree ...more
Erin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
DJ Jaffe knows his stuff and is very passionate with good intentions but his agenda is an extreme one. He has done his research. He exposes much about agencies that are doing a disservice to the seriously mentally ill and although I agree we can do better as an industry this book is very emotionally driven and radical in it's approach. I also don't agree with some of his views on trauma.
Rick
Apr 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shortlisted and cherry picked info

First the author uses cherry picked info. He appears to be obviously biased as well. Recommendations do not take variables into account. He appears to use emotional language in place of solid information. I am not against all the ideas, but many do not have the critical thinking in place to be taken seriously.
Shannon
May 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
On its face, Mr. Jaffe's "Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill" appears to be a strong indictment of the shortcomings of the mental health industry. The multiple appendixes and notes suggests the book is well researched. The preface sets the stage for the author's bias when he describes the experience with a relative with schizophrenia. Beyond that, Mr. Jaffe uses language that identifies a person's disability before the person. For example, he writes, "Ment ...more
Douglas
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent book if you want to get furiously angry at someone -- specifically, in this case, at the mental health industry and its supporters. DJ Jaffe's book is extensively documented and well noted, and would be difficult to argue against I suspect. It's a troubling work, as many of the efforts those in government agencies and in civil rights organizations work against the best interest of the seriously mentally ill individual in the name of civil rights. The results are tragic, not just for ...more
Karen Prive
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jaffe's tireless advocacy work for patients with serious mental illness and their families cannot be denied - he is a man who puts his beliefs into action. I agree with him on many points, and in particular about the shameful way our society has criminalized those with serious mental illness and effectively moved our most seriously ill patients from hospital settings to jails and prisons, and failing to protect these individuals from the consequences of their untreated illnesses. However I found ...more
John Hallowitz
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for anyone concerned with services for those with mental illness. If you are a provider; an advocate; a policy maker; a relative, friend or other significant person in the life of someone with a mental illness you are negligent if you do not read this book. This is a clear headed, fact based assessment of the state of the system of care for those with a mental illness in this country today. It details what works, what doesn't, where money is being wisely spent and wisely miss ...more
Betsy Jacobs
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
This is such an incredibly important topic, but I'm afraid this message won't reach a large audience because of how the book is written. There are a couple of excellent narrative passages, but 95% of the book is straight argument, which becomes tedious to even the most interested reader. It reads more like a report. The evidence presented about the problem is substantial, and again -- it's such an important topic. I wish it had been better written.
Pat Morgan
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book describes, in detail, the failure of our government to address the needs of severely and persistently mentally ill people, why jails and prisons all across America have become de-facto, but totally inadequate and inappropriate mental health facilities, and what must be done to reverse this national nightmare. Well researched, it is an eye-opener and a call to action.
Benjamin
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well documented book on the state of the mental health care industry in this country and how we got there. This book hits close to home, reading the anecdotes from those who have suffered from not being able to get care for a loved one who is severely mentally ill. One hopes that detailed picture provided in these pages, though sick, sad, and angering, will lead to change.
Ari Kohn
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