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in Mental Health Crisis Day

National Helping Families

We are not a Washington association. We are individual families who have
loved ones with serious mental illness, and we live with these issues everyday.

Families in
Mental Health Crisis

It’s time to change the status quo!



Families in
Mental Health Crisis

It’s time to change the status quo!


SAMHSA and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement
Leave Victims in their Wake

Support The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, HR2646.

Find out what else you can do on our Take Action page

These Psychiatrists Dare to Set the Record Straight on Mental Illness

One of the surprising gifts in Lieberman's book was a chance for me to come to terms with my own miseducation. Lieberman discusses the impact of widely celebrated research by psychologist David Rosenhan. Rosenhan devised a clever way to demonstrate nonsensical practices of psychiatric institutions; he and others he recruited arranged to be admitted as patients and then behaved perfectly normally. This didn't stop the institutions from responding to them as if they were extremely ill people. READ MORE

Let's Learn from the Failures of US Mental Health Policies

SAMHSA's audacity in choosing as a key slogan the message that "Prevention Works" is astonishing. Neuroscience has not yet discovered how to prevent schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, severe brain disorders that afflict 3 per cent of the population. Since SAMHSA has no public education programs on psychotic illnesses, it can't even inform families about the kind of early treatment that can prevent the illnesses from getting worse. READ MORE

People Who Hear Voices Need Science-Based Advice

Many perfectly healthy people have auditory hallucinations. However, auditory hallucinations can also often be part of the chaos of a psychotic illness. In recent years, numerous groups have developed to assist "voice hearers," as some wish to be called. Unfortunately, most of these groups don't want to recognize the very different needs of people with severe mental illnesses. READ MORE

Employees say the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is failing.

Whether or not mental illness played a role in the crash of the Germanwings flight that killed 150, the importance of our own country’s having a sound and efficient mental-health policy cannot be denied. That’s why attention should be paid to a new report that shows the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the lead agency for coordinating America’s mental-health policies, is rotting from the inside. READ MORE

Counterproductive craziness at federal agency

SAMHSA was founded to “reduce the impact of … mental illness on America’s communities” by “target[ing] … mental health services to the people most in need.” Families of people such as Shayne Riggleman, who went off medicines for bipolar disorder and recently killed five in West Virginia, and Eduardo Sencion, a mentally ill man who killed three members of the National Guard and one other person in Carson City, Nev., often try to get their ill family members court-ordered treatment before they become dangerous. But SAMHSA stands in the way. READ MORE

SAMHSA Slammed by Congress... And for Good Reason

In his opening statement to Wednesday's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearings on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), well-informed Dr. Tim Murphy (R-PA) noted, “The Center for Mental Health Services, housed at SAMHSA, has a budget of approximately $1 billion per year. It awards most of these funds through a combination of competitive and formula grants. I'm concerned, because the committee has seen substantial evidence that too many of these grants are directed to advancing services rooted in unproven social theory and feel-good fads, rather than science.” READ MORE

We Should Look To The U.S.'s Legal Struggles Over Mental Illness Policies

SAMHSA and some of the contemporary social science that informs it, seem to believe that all "mental distress" emanates from social or personal adversity. However, neuroscience has been on a different path. Dr. Thomas Insel, a longtime Director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, tries to help the public understand that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are brain disorders. READ MORE

We Need More Mental Illness Literacy

The kinds of early intervention programs that the U.S. is developing have been well-established in Canada for many years. However, Canada, like the U.S., lacks the level of public mental illness literacy that would help the people who need this kind of treatment to access it. The pervasive ignorance about the state of knowledge about psychotic illnesses has been fostered by the competing "alternative" vision of "mental health concerns," a movement that has been well nurtured by SAMHSA's over $3 billion annual budget. READ MORE

Find more articles and testimony on how SAMHSA fails the seriously mentally.

The Journey Home

Several months ago I made a thoughtful decision to abandon my attempts to understand and reconcile my views with those of the anti-psychiatry organizations. My outreach, by way of writing articles about my work with mentally ill individuals and their families in the Los Angeles Jail, psychiatric wards and emergency rooms was initially received positively because I was not writing about psychiatric medication or treatment. Then I wrote an honest piece about a very critically ill homeless woman who needed a hospital bed and emergency medication and my efforts to keep her safe from being arrested or sent back to the street to be beaten up again. READ MORE

Leave the Schizophrenia Diagnosis to the Experts, Please!

What is it about psychiatry that generates so much animosity from the lay public? Psychiatric treatment strategies and the science upon which they are based do not differ from that of gastroenterology or cardiology. We do not see the antipathy towards medications for atrial fibrilation or gastroesophegeal reflux disease (GERD) that we see for schizophrenia treatment. And some gastroenterologists, cardiologists and other "ologists" also act as consultants for big pharma like some shrinks do. Medical writers who focus in these other specialties do not pick up the same following as Robert Whitaker, the popular (in some circles) critic of psychiatry. READ MORE