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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.

For more information visit


Dec 22, 2019

Peter Mayfield is the founder and executive director of Gateway Mountain Center in California, an innovative program for helping youth learn, heal, and thrive

As a teenager growing up in California, Peter became an accomplished rock climber, and developed into one of the world’s best mountain climbers, rising to become chief guide of the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Yosemite is known for being a rock climbing mecca, offering climbers some of the most difficult ascents anywhere in the world.

He has enjoyed a 40-year career guiding people in mountain experiences and developing entrepreneurial enterprises. He is the founder of City Rock, the first full-service climbing gym in the world.

Today, he is passionate about changing the system of care for youth suffering from serious emotional disturbances and complex trauma. Gateway’s program,  ‘Whole Hearts, Minds and Bodies’ is the first nature-based therapeutic program in California to achieve full-service partner contracts with County behavioral health departments and certification as a MediCal provider. This means that California has recognized his nature-based therapeutic programs as providing a medical benefit.

In this interview, Peter speaks about his journey from mountaineering to his role as an educator and mentor, and how enabling children and adolescents to connect with nature has such a profound effect on their health and wellbeing.

If you'd like to know more about the work of the Gateway Mountain Center, you can visit the website