NAMI-Yolo - a chapter of NAMI, the Nation's Voice on Mental Illness


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Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans 
by Dr. Alvin Poussaint and Amy Alexander
Beacon Press 2000
A breakthrough work for both the mental health and African-American communities. The book details numerous historical and contemporary barriers to African-Americans' receipt of culturally competent medical care, as well as the reasons for distrust among the African-American community of psychiatric providers. The goal of this work is to increase awareness among providers and encourage the active participation of minority populations in the mental health movement. Review from NAMI-NYC

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The Rights of People with Mental Disabilities.
by  Robert M.Levy and Leonard S. Rubenstein
Statutes and discussion.

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Out of the Shadows : Confronting America's Mental Illness Crisis
by E. Fuller Torrey (Author)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd edition (March 1998)
Torrey condemns way the mentally ill are treated in this country. He explains how deinstitutionalization is a curse to many of the most severely mentally ill, landing them in the streets. He takes us on a grim tour of the lives led by the mentally ill: untreated, homeless, jobless, and helpless against street violence. Torrey argues that the criteria for involuntary commitment should include the need for treatment. --  Amazon Review
See the NAMI book review.

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Madness in the Streets : How Psychiatry and the Law Abandoned the Mentally Ill
by Rael Jean Isaac, Virginia C. Armat
Publisher: Treatment Advocacy Center; (August 1, 2000)
Taking aim at advocacy groups who view the homeless as ordinary people down on their luck, the authors of this scorching critique cite findings that 30% to 40% of the homeless suffer from major mental illness, and that a high proportion are substance abusers. Isaac, a sociologist, and freelance journalist Armat, blame the abandonment of the homeless mentally ill on the anti-psychiatry movement (led by Thomas Szasz, Ronald Laing, among others), on civil libertarians and on psychiatrists who foster the "delusion that preventive community psychiatry could eliminate mental illness." Arguing that we have replaced the mental hospital with the 18th-century poorhouse which threw together the mentally ill, the retarded, criminals and the displaced, they warn that a humane system of care will be costly and might involve treatment of some mentally ill persons against their will. Their support for judicious use of electroshock therapy will also stir controversy. --Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Street Crazy : America's Mental Health Tragedy
by Stephen B. Seager
Publisher: Westcom Press; (November 30, 2000)
STREET CRAZY recounts one psychiatrist's experience with the mentally ill, who have often become homeless because of their disease. Using clear, straight-forward language, Dr. Stephen B. Seager explains brain disease, tells the often disturbing history of the mentally ill, and shows how, through a series of well-meaning legal mishaps, our most vulnerable citizens have been abandoned to the streets. By following Dr. Seager as he unravels the mystery behind John Doe, a sick young man brought to the hospital by the police, the reader will come to understand the degradation and suffering of the chronically mentally ill and their families, as well as the frustration and confusion experienced by those most intimately involved with caring for the homeless mentally ill. Finally, the author suggests some real action that we, as U.S. citizens, can take to solve this morally untenable but seemingly insurmountable dilemma. -- Amazon Review
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Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genome
by Nancy C. Andreasen
Publisher: Oxford University Press; (February 2004)
Andreasen, a prolific author, editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, argues that by combining our knowledge of the human genome with that of the human brain we can effectively "wage war" on mental illness. She summarizes what we know about the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of schizophrenia, dementia, and various mood and anxiety disorders. Stressing that these illnesses are multifactorial (caused by both multiple genes and environmental factors), she predicts that the powerful new tools of molecular biology can be successfully applied to mental illness. Like Rita Carter in Mapping the Mind (LJ 2/15/99), which summarizes the current state of medical technology, Andreasen describes those tools along with the neuroimaging techniques that help us to view the functioning brain. Her text is unique in that it covers the fundamentals of neurobiology and at the same time touches on key issues in medical economics, treatment, and prevention. Hypothetical case studies illustrate the progression and impact of mental illness. Written with clarity and sensitivity, this study offers a refreshing, optimistic vision of the future. Suitable for public and academic libraries. Laurie Bartolini, Illinois State Lib., Springfield -- Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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