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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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Feb 12, 2020

Psychiatric diagnosis has come under increased scrutiny in recent years following the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) in 2013.

Two organizations that played a prominent role in challenging the Bible of psychiatry prior to 2013, the British Psychological Society and the Society for Humanistic Psychology (American Psychological Association - Division 32) subsequently joined to form the Task Force for Diagnostic Alternatives (TFDA).

Today, February 12th, 2020, the TFDA released a new Open Letter regarding the reform and revision of diagnostic systems. MIA spoke with two leaders of the Task Force, Sarah Kamens, and Peter Kinderman about this effort.

Sarah Kamens is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, at the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Old Westbury and co-chair of the Task Force for Diagnostic Alternatives for the Society for Humanistic Psychology. Her research examines the intersections between extreme emotional distress and structural marginalization. More specifically, she studies the ways in which lived experiences of psychosis and trauma are entangled with social conditions in the world.

Peter Kinderman is past president of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool. He is also a past guest on the Mad in America podcast and the author of A Manifesto for Mental Health, Why We Need a Revolution in Mental Health Care (2019) and A Prescription for Psychiatry: Why We Need a Whole New Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing (2013).