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Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis 1st Edition
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About the Author
Rosalynn Carter, a driving force in the field of mental health throughout her public service career, is the best-selling author of First Lady from Plains. She lives in Plains, Georgia.
Susan K. Golant has written more than 30 books and is coauthor of the award-winning Helping Someone with Mental Illness (with Rosalynn Carter). She lives in Los Angeles.
Kathryn E. Cade serves as chair of the board of trustees of the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, Rosalyn Carter's brief (156 pgs), well-researched (179 endnotes), interesting and readable book, the former first lady lays waste to many of the ghosts that haunt the field of mental health.
Mrs. Carter is no newcomer to the field, first becoming interested in the mental health issues while helping Jimmy Carter campaign for governor of Georgia in 1966. Under Jimmy Carter, the most significant mental health bill in modern times was passed in 1980, only to be defunded one month after Reagan was inaugurated.
Within Our Reach largely sticks to the facts, and is not a partisan polemic. One in four Americans suffer from mental health related symptoms. Mental health is the largest single cause of disability and loss of productivity in the work place. Yet the treatment for mental health related problems is plagued by lack of access, a diminishing work force of qualified mental health professionals, little to no coverage of costs for those without insurance, and very spotty coverage for those that do. In primary care (I'm a family practitioner) it is estimated that 40% of office visits are related directly or indirectly to mental health issues.
Within Our Reach is true to its introduction, which is titled "A Call to Action". In an easy to follow and logical sequence, Mrs. Carter lays out the phantoms that have inhibited reaching workable solutions to mental health illnesses in the U.S., and then provides the means to exorcise these demons. What are some of these specters? One is the stigma of mental illness, exacerbated by the frequent portrayal in the media of the mentally ill as being frightening and prone to violence.Read more ›
In this book, Rosalynn Carter discusses her advocacy for and observations of the changes in the mental health field since she first noticed what was lacking. As a graduate student getting my PhD in clinical psychology, I was very excited to win a copy of this and she what she had to say, and very excited that she was an advocate for mental health in general.
The book, in my opinion, was a mixed bag. I cannot adequately review some of the things she goes over (symptoms of various illnesses, stigma, insurance issues, etc) because I've known these things and dealt with them for 3+ years, and so I can't stand back and say "How would someone who'd never thought about that react?" So I won't.
However, I can give my 2 cents on what I do know. I was surprised and THRILLED at some of things Ms. Carter pointed out that is well-known within the mental health field, but rarely recognized outside of it, such as:
1. Psychiatrists get very little training in mental health
2. Psychiatrists often don't take in the environmental context of a mental health situation, sometimes leading to over or misdiagnosis.
3. Clients who utilize public community mental health are often given medication and a pat on the back and very little support other than that.
4. Resilience is really important for kids, and early mental health intervention can save a lot of money (and a lot of pain) later in life.
5. Insurance isn't the only barrier to treatment (though it is a big one.) Geography and culture are two other huge barriers.
I was THRILLED THRILLED THRILLED that she mentioned these often unnoticed things about the mental health field.Read more ›
This book offers a readable overview of what we persist in calling our mental health "system." We see the impact of a variety of mental ills--depression, biopolar disorder, schizophrenia, trauma substance addition-- on various populations, children (especially in foster care), young adults, parents, soldiers, and the elderly. Mrs. Carter has been working on this issue since her husband ran for governor of Georgia and she was beseeched by the families of mental patients to do something to provide more humane care. If our larger health care system is broken, the subset of mental health care functions only sporadically. And when it fails, the regrettable result is too often suicide, the most frequent form of violent death among young people in the U.S.
Mrs.Carter clearly has worked hard to bridge the world between patients, their families and mental health professionals. She quotes freely from all of them to present the problems from all points of view, and she shares much of her own family experience here. But clearly, without the power of the White House or some powerful figure in Congress to drive this issue, it languishes.
Meanwhile,we know more than ever about the brain,and there are promising treatments for many persistent problems.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this book for everyone who suffers from mental illness. I always believed there was hope for recovery regardless of what the doctors told me. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Debra
Not so long ago, in 1947, psychiatric patients at Philadelphia State Hospital (and elsewhere) straggled, squatted, and sat like wretched zombies, naked in cold and empty wards,... Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by Thomas H. Pyle
Product condition and shipping time exceeded my expectations. It was exactly what I thought I was ordering, and the price was right. Also no charge for shipping! JeanPublished on May 23, 2013 by Jean McPhaden
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who founded and directs the Carter Center Mental Health Program, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the mental health field, yet she's created a... Read morePublished on July 24, 2011 by elf
Carter first took up the challenge of fighting for the rights of the mentally ill while campaigning for her husband during his Presidential run and still is a strong advocate for... Read morePublished on November 21, 2010 by Countess Chocula
This is not at all an in depth book about mental illness and all the issues and controversies surrounding it in the United States today. Read morePublished on August 24, 2010 by H. Lindner
Rosalyn Carter's new book was a quick read, in which she emphasized our continued problem in this country of the stigma associated with mental illness. Read morePublished on August 16, 2010 by M. Ferrara
I have not yet had time to complete the book, but have only perused its content. On this basis I am unready to give a review.Published on July 26, 2010 by C. J. Griesemer
This is a FIVE STAR book. The mental health care attitudes and stigma in our culture need BOLD ADVOCATES for change. Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter is just such an advocate. Read morePublished on May 27, 2010 by Daniel B. Slocum