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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking mental health around the world.

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Jun 7, 2023

David Edward Walker is the author of Coyote’s Swing: A Memoir and Critique of Mental Hygiene in Native America, which was published in February by Washington State University Press.

A psychologist, novelist, public speaker, poet, and singer-songwriter, Walker is a Missouri Cherokee descendent. For more than three decades he’s worked as a professor, psychotherapist, and consultant based in Washington State — including four years as a psychologist for the U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS) and, afterward, more than 20 consulting for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

In much of his writing, including Coyote’s Swing, he addresses the devastating impact of the Western, biomedical mental health system on Indigenous peoples — and their experiences, across the centuries, of intergenerational oppression and trauma both personal and systemic. Five years ago, Walker wrote a series of articles for Indian Country Today that zeroed in on such oppressive practices, including the harms of psychiatric treatment on Native individuals and the history of labeling Native children with “feeblemindedness” and, later, ADHD

He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Detroit. 


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