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May 5, 2013 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

Elusive Justice – America’s Thought Leaders Weigh In at USC Symposium

I made my escape from the glitz of Las Vegas and a national conference on behavioral health this past month and flew into the surprisingly fresh–and relatively boring–air of Los Angeles. I could even see the hills!

The purpose of this personal transformation back to reality was to attend the Third Annual Symposium on Mental Health and the Law at USC’s Gould School of Law. This stimulating forum was organized by Elyn Saks, the director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics.

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March 3, 2013 by David Healy, MD

Do prescription drugs cause unwanted behavior change?

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February 27, 2013 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

A Fresh Perspective on the 2013 Selling Sickness Conference

This past weekend, I returned from an international conference called “Selling Sickness, 2013: People Before Profits.” The audience included academic medical reformers (the majority of whom were from the world of psychiatry), consumer activists, and health journalists–and a few, well maybe only one, former state mental health commissioner (me) who had never attended this conference in past years.The title well fits the reinforcement of my growing understanding of how not just the mental health field but medicine in general has been permeated at every level by an exclusive focus on “return on investment.”

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January 17, 2013 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Most of us know all too well about the field of mental health having a middle name: Divisiveness.The Freudians fought with the behaviorists. The psychiatrists have often found conflict in their work with psychologists and social workers and counselors. Of course, the psychologists and social workers don’t always get along either. More recently there has been the professional vs “paraprofessional” or peer-delivered staff conflict.

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