Dr. Torrey emphasizes Five Key Issues American Psychiatry got Wrong

Photo by Jakob Dalbjörn on Unsplash

ACMI’s Mission

We work with stakeholders to improve care for persons suffering from chronic serious mental illness through cost-effective network enhancements:

  • (a) a person-centered culture (instead of program-centered),
  • (b) financial & other incentives, based on performance & outcomes, for providers to better serve this population;
  • (c) more Lighthouse- like homes, i.e. community living properties with 24-hours per day and 7-days per week supportive staff inside these properties,
  • (d) humane, well-regulated facilities for secure residential treatment, involuntary as medically appropriate, for those who need more intensive care for a longer period of time to gain insight and continue their recovery in a less restrictive setting; and,
  • (e) other possible solutions.

We are encouraged to see a focus back on research and understanding individuals that lack insight into their illness.

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Provided by Treatment Advocacy Center:

DR. TORREY DELIVERS KEYNOTE SPEECH TO APA

HIGHLIGHTS ANOSOGNOSIA, CRIMINALIZATION OF SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS IN CALL TO ACTION

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – On Thursday, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey gave the keynote speech at the American Psychiatric Association’s IPS Mental Health Services Conference in New York.

Widely considered a celebration of Dr. Torrey’s monumental career, the speech focused on one of the most important questions facing modern mental health care: what did American psychiatry get so wrong that caused our system to fall apart?

Dr. Torrey’s answer identified five key causes:

  1. A misunderstanding of the causes of psychosis;
  2. Ignorance regarding the role lack of insight (anosognosia) plays in providing effective care;
  3. A failure to prioritize care for the tens of thousands of individuals being discharged from state hospitals;
  4. An overreliance on a top-down federal approach versus directly coordinating care with state and local communities;
  5. A failure by NIMH to effectively oversee the system or to prioritize serious mental illness care.

Dr. Torrey, speaking to hundreds of community psychiatrists, detailed how emptying state psychiatric hospitals without a plan for how people would be treated in the community led to a series of tragic outcomes, including homelessness, criminalization and a system collapsing under the weight of ineffective, unresponsive programs.

He concluded the speech with two calls to action.

First, he asked the IPS to prioritize the problems he listed, noting that “America needs IPS to solve these matters.”

https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/press-releases/dr-torrey-delivers-keynote-speech-to-apa

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The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness. The organization promotes laws, policies and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for, and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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