“We need to have a conversation in this country, and everyone has to have a greater literacy and understanding of these illnesses,” said former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy (left) at a launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Kennedy, who is one of the country's leading advocates on mental health issues, wrote the foreword to the 370-page book. "It empowers patients and their loved ones by giving them knowledge and understanding."
Understanding Mental Disorders is based on the latest, fifth edition of APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The organization of the book follows that of DSM-5 and lists risk factors, warning signs, symptoms, and treatments for each disorder. The book also includes brief case studies to illustrate real-life examples of people with these conditions.
“This book can lead to helpful communication between patients, their families, and their psychiatrists,” noted APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D. (right), chair of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Besides patients and their families, Understanding Mental Disorders will be helpful for other health professionals, law enforcement personnel, educators, coaches, members of the clergy, as well as others who want to educate themselves about mental illness.
"Psychiatrists now have an authoritative source of information on mental disorders to recommend to their patients and loved ones," said APA President-Elect Renée Binder, M.D. “The book will overcome stigma about mental illness because it emphasizes that these are brain disorders and they are treatable.”
In addition to Kennedy, Summergrad, and Binder, participating in the launch of the book at the National Press Club were Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., a member of the book’s advisory panel; Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America; and Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., the founder and president of Give an Hour.
For more in Psychiatric News about Understanding Mental Disorders, see "New Manual to Offer One-of-Kind Layperson’s Guide to DSM-5."
--aml (Image: David Hathcox)