John Oliver On Mental Health


Posted in: Hot Topics, Multimedia, Videos

Topics: Mental Illness + Psychiatric Disorders

In the clip above from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver masterfully speaks to the serious misunderstandings and poor care associated with mental illness in the U.S. today.  While the segment clearly uses humor in clever and captivating ways, his many points tell it like it is:

  • Mental illness is a huge problem facing society, and yet, our means of dealing with it are fraught with misconceptions, misinformation, and worse, stigma.
  • Our means of treating psychiatric disorders are poor at best, and, thanks to a complex and broken system of care, fraught with neglect and unnecessary incarcerations.
  • We mock individuals with mental illness, despite the fact that 1 in 4 adults will suffer from a mental illness at some point in his or her lifetime.
  • We often blame violence on mental illness, when, in fact, the vast majority of folks with psychiatric disorders are harmless. And, as Oliver cites, most gun violence is actually caused by individuals who are NOT mentally ill. Nonetheless, many politicians seek to scapegoat mental illness as the cause of gun violence.
  • Effective treatments can save the nation and the healthcare system huge costs, and yet, we do not invoke methods that are humane, caring, and fiscally advantageous.

Please view this wonderful portrayal of mental health and illness in our nation.

We need to change how we view and care for mental illness.

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Gene Beresin

Gene Beresin, Executive Director

Gene Beresin, MD, MA is executive director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also...

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