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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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Mar 29, 2023

Pata Suyemoto is a feminist scholar, educator, curriculum developer, activist, and artist. Her work focuses on promoting racial equity in mental health and suicide prevention through teaching and advocacy. She advocates for equity and inclusion at all levels of mental health care, from grassroots organizations to state-level policy institutions. Dr. Suyemoto has spoken and written about being a suicide attempt survivor and about her struggles with chronic depression and PTSD.

Dr. Suyemoto earned her PhD in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she researched multicultural and anti-racist education. She currently serves as the Training Director for the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association and leads the National Asian American Pacific Islander Empowerment Network.

She is also a leader in suicide prevention at the local and national levels, serving as the Equity Coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and co-chair of the Greater Boston Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Suyemoto co-wrote an educational resource called “Widening the Lens: Exploring the Role of Social Justice in Suicide Prevention – A Racial Equity Toolkit.

In this interview, Dr. Suyemoto discusses how her identities as a Japanese American woman and lifelong educator have influenced her work promoting racial equity in mental health and suicide prevention. She shares her efforts to build a national network of Asian Americans with lived experiences of mental health challenges and emphasizes the importance of equitable partnerships with those with lived experience in research, advocacy, and therapeutic contexts.


Thank you for being with us to listen to the podcast and read our articles this year. MIA is funded entirely by reader donations. If you value MIA, please help us continue to survive and grow. To find the Mad in America podcast on your preferred podcast player, click here