Thanks to your support, Mental Illness Policy Org has been going full-steam delivering the message that we have to stop shunning the seriously mentally ill.

Watch my TEDTalk titled, “Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill” given to the same mental health industry leaders and advocates that my book criticizes. It took place at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference, and it was exceedingly gracious of Linda Rosenberg and Jeannie Campbell, to invite me to present my criticisms to these leaders. You can watch the TEDTalk video and let me know if you’d like me to present to your group.

DJ Jaffe gives TedTalk to mental health advocates and leaders on how they fail the seriously mentally ill.

Other Recent Media Highlights

I am very liberal. But conservatives and Republicans are more receptive to the argument that we should spend mental health funds on those who need help the most, rather than improving mental wellness in the masses. Hence a lot of the media opportunities and joint efforts have been with conservative leaning groups like Manhattan Institute. I thank them for caring about the issue.

Unfortunately, my fellow Dems tend to wrap everything that makes you sad (bad grades, divorce, unemployment, poverty, lack of job satisfaction, angst about gender identity, etc.) in a mental health narrative and divert funds that should help the seriously ill to those issues, leaving little left for the seriously mentally ill. Following are some of the media hits since my Washington Post op-ed on Parkland that I previously shared. It described the relationship between untreated serious mental illness and violence.

In addition to writing op-eds, Mental Illness Policy Org was quoted in USA Today and Albuquerque Journal.  There were many more media hits including reviews of my book, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill.

If you’d like me to give a presentation to your group contact DJ at the Mental Illness Policy Org website.


Susan Arbetter of Capitol Press Room interviewed me on NYS Senate passing Kendra’s Law bill. And Fred Dicker also did an interview about NYS issues. It is shameful that the assembly mental health committee (Aileen Gunther, chair) hasn’t closed the loopholes in Kendra’s Law and made it permanent. Kendra’s Law is NY’s most successful program for the most seriously mentally ill.

In NYC, when mentally ill Saheed Vassell was shot by police because he was pretending to have a gun and taking aim at people, I wrote several op-eds, co-authored others with Carolyn Gorman, and did radio and press interviews noting that police had taken Mr. Vassell to the hospital several times without incident, but each time the hospital discharged him without follow-up care, something that also had happened to mentally ill Deborah Danner. That is a mental health system failure. There is a collection of these op-eds at the Manhattan Institute site. Manhattan Institute has been doing terrific work trying to improve care for the seriously ill in NYC and recently hosted a forum on the lack of hospital beds that featured Treatment Advocacy Center board member Jeffrey Geller and Scattergood Director Dominic Sisti among others.

Thank you for your support.


(May 2018)  This blog at

DJ Jaffe is Executive Director of the non-partisan Mental Illness Policy Org., and author of Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill. He is a critic of the mental health industry for ignoring the seriously ill, and has been advocating for better treatment for individuals with serious mental illness for over 30 years. He has written op-eds on the intersection of mental health and criminal justice policy for the New York Times, Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post. New York Magazine has credited him with being the driving force behind the passage of New York’s Kendra’s Law and Congress incorporated ideas proposed by DJ in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.