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"Powerful. . . . The crisis [Torrey] delineates should stir any halfway sensitive human being to anger."—The New York Times Book Review
"Brilliant and remarkably detailed. . . . Dr. Torrey, our clearest and most informed voice for the mentally ill, offers his own insightful plan for a way out . . . of a healthcare scandal that remains one of America's most enduring shames."—Phil Donahue.
"If President Clinton is looking for a worthy goal to accomplish in his second term, here's one: Rescue the homeless mentally ill. It can be done. . . . Dr. E. Fuller Torrey . . . provides a five-year road map in Out of the Shadows."—New York Daily News.
"An important book . . . timely and very well written."—The New England Journal of Medicine.
"Controversial ideas, forcefully presented."—Kirkus Reviews
"Moving and vivid. . . . Torrey's powerful prescription for change challenges conventional wisdom and political correctness. His searing case examples will haunt the reader."—Laurie Flynn Executive Director National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
The book contains black-and-white illustrations.
Torrey ("Nowhere To Go", 1988; "Freudian Fraud", 1992, etc.) notes that for the majority of people with severe mental disorders treatments to effectively control their symptoms are already available, and with research, better ones would surely be found. To that end, he urges formation of a National Brain Research Institute. Meanwhile, however, Torrey sees much that can be done to provide humane and cost-effective services for the severely mentally ill. With numerous anecdotes and impressive statistics, he builds a dismaying picture of society's failure to care for the mentally ill. He then argues for major ideological, economic, and legal changes, as well as a change in how we think about serious mental illnesses. Too often they are seen as occupying one end of the spectrum of mental health, linked to social reform and liberal causes and thus highly politicized. Torrey asserts that when serious mental illnesses are properly viewed as neurological disorders of the brain, research funding, treatment resources, and professional expertise can be more readily obtained. To eliminate cost-shifting between levels of government, which he sees as the primary cause of the present situation, he would make the states responsible for providing services and accountable for treatment outcomes, with the federal government providing block grants. While these proposals may arouse polite debate, the legal remedies he calls for—changing the laws to permit involuntary treatment, including involuntary commitment to hospitals—raise some very troubling images and are likely to elicit loud objections.
Controversial ideas, forcefully presented.
People in the Shadows: The Many Faces of Mental Illness.
Nowhere to Go: Homelessness and Mental Illness.
Jails and Prisons.
Walking Time Bombs: Violence and the Mentally Ill.
Psychiatric Ghettos: Communities and Families.
Looking Backward: Where We Have Been.
New Initiatives in Funding.
From Legal Folly to Common Sense: The Right to Get Well.
From the Woody Allen Syndrome to Brain Disease.
Looking Forward: Where We Should Be Going.