Americans suffering from mental illness have long faced barriers to treatment, including stigma from their friends, family and peers.
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to change all of that. On October 31, 1963, he signed his last piece of legislation, the Community Mental Health Act, a law that aimed to transform the way mental illness is treated in this country. According to Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a practicing psychiatrist and professor of law, medicine and psychiatry at Columbia University, fifty years later, the Act has a mixed legacy.
A New York State law has caused a fair share of controversy because it forces some severely mentally ill to undergo treatment. On today's show, we hear from Dr. Paul Appelbaum, director of the division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia University’s medical school and Margaret, whose son has been forced into assisted outpatient treatment under the law.
What happens in the brain of a mass killer that permits such violence to occur? In an attempt to answer this question, researchers at the University of Connecticut are preparing to carry out what may be the first extensive study of the DNA of a mass murderer. Dr. Paul Appelbaum, practicing psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry, medicine, and law at Columbia University, explains.
The fact that Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist prior to the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, is a fact that has emerged in the past few days. Should his psychiatrist be required to disclose private information about her patient? And, had she known in advance that Holmes struggled with violent thoughts and delusions, should she have alerted police?
In the weeks before the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, suspect James Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia. Columbia University Director of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry Paul S. Appelbaum, explains how psychiatrists determine red flags with their patients and when behavior is concerning enough to warrant further action.