Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis

Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis - Rosalynn Carter, Susan K. Golant, Kathryn E. Cade Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has long been a staunch advocate for the mentally ill. In "Within Our Reach," she details some of the reasons that improvements for their care recommended more than 30 years ago still have not been implemented, and why the mental health crisis has escalated.One cannot watch the news or read the papers without seeing stories about returning veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder in numbers greater than ever seen before, and how their promised safety net fails them. TV dramas portray the mentally ill as dangerous (despite the fact that one in four people suffers mental illness and only a tiny minority of such patients are dangerous at all). There is enormous stigma aimed at the mentally ill, which impacts their ability to seek treatment.Carter talks about programs that are helping (she acknowledges that not all people are helped by medication and that psychotherapy is not always available), as well as new technologies that show the hyperactive prefrontal cortex (where thinking occurs) in those with clinical depression. She also talks about the importance of peer support advocacy, where people who have experienced mental illness help others in the same situation.It's not all dry and clinical, though; Carter shares stories from her own childhood, as well as personal histories that mentally ill people have bravely shared with her.This book is an important one to read if you care about the mentally ill in your community, your family and the world.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)