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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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Jan 6, 2018

This week on MIA Radio, we interview Dr. Jennifer Bahr. Dr Bahr is a passionate advocate for naturopathic approaches to health and wellbeing. She is the founder of Resilience Naturopathic which was founded with a mission to not only to provide an alternative to those who struggle with mental health conditions but to improve the way mental and behavioural healthcare is delivered in America. 

Dr Bahr received her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. Prior to that she was an Arabic Translator for the US Government and served 6 years in the US Navy. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland. She is the President of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, the founding Vice President of the Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and a member of the House of Delegates for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. 

She previously taught at Bastyr University and is a contributing writer for Homeopathy Today, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, Mad In America, and The Wise Mom.

In the episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Bahr came to be involved with the psychiatric system and prescribed psychiatric drugs.
  • That receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder led to fears such as loss of employment and that the condition was permanent, feeling like a life sentence.
  • How the psychiatric drugs, including Lithium, affected Dr. Bahr’s academic performance.
  • How those experiences led to Dr. Bahr’s interest and study into non-medication based and naturally oriented approaches to supporting mental health and wellbeing.
  • Why naturopathic medicine might be a good approach for mental health issues.
  • That it is important to choose naturopathic approaches as a first step to avoid potential harm from medications prescribed through the mainstream system.
  • The inherent problems with clinical trials of psychiatric drugs, such as placebo washout.
  • How supporting the whole person is the aim of naturopathic approaches and how this contrasts with the mainstream psychiatric approach of relying heavily on trying to alter brain chemistry.
  • That we should focus heavily on what is happening in our environment to help address the alarming increase in both physical and mental health problems.
  • How people can find out more about Dr. Bahr and her work by visiting

Relevant links:

Resilience Naturopathic

Rx Resilience: Cultivating the Ability to Bounce Back 

American Association for Naturopathic Physicians

Institute for Natural Medicine

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© Mad in America 2018