Madness Reimagined: Envisioning a Better System of Mental Health in America
by Leonard A. Steverson (Flagler College)
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Madness Reimagined: Envisioning a Better System of Mental Health in America provides a comprehensive analysis of the current mental health system in the United States. Presented from a sociological rather than a psychological perspective, this book seeks to provide readers with an extensive but accessible look at its history, the current mental health treatment modalities, the various mental health practitioners, the different conditions known as mental health disorders, as well as strategies for improving the system.
Trained both in clinical and applied therapy and sociology, the author aims to provide a balance to the work that other books on mental health often lack. As a result, this book proposes a dual approach to the study of mental health. Dr. Steverson acknowledges that while disorders and treatment modalities require a micro-level (intrapsychic) approach, the overall analysis of the mental health system demands a macro-level (sociological) approach.
Due to the recent changes in the American healthcare system and the concerns this has raised, this book is a necessary and important contribution to its field. It also reflects a growing desire from the public to better understand this subject as mental health issues continue to gain visibility in the public eye. Free of psychological jargon and in an accessible format, this book will not only appeal to academics and students, but also to mental health consumers, their families, and people who are interested in advocacy.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: A Short History of Mental Illness and its Treatment
Chapter 3: The DSM, Mental Health Disorders, and the Healers
Chapter 4: Current Approaches and Treatment Modalities
Chapter 5: The Sociological Perspective
Chapter 6: A Systems Approach to the Mental Health System
Chapter 7: Strategies for Mental Health Advocacy
Chapter 8: Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 9: Resources
Glossary of terms
Dr. Leonard A. Steverson is an Associate Professor Emeritus in sociology at South Georgia State College. He currently serves as an adjunct at Flagler College, a small private institution in St. Augustine, Florida. He has a BS and MS in Sociology and a PhD in Human Services (Marriage and Family Services). He has authored a handbook on the police called Policing in America: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO), coauthored a sociology ancillary text called Giants of Sociology (with a revised edition; Pearson) and a social problems text titled Debating Social Problems (Routledge). He has published six chapters in edited volumes, twelve book reviews, and contributed entries in over a dozen social science encyclopedias.
In addition to a long academic history, he has worked as a director of a mental health and substance abuse program for children and adolescents, as a family therapist, as a correctional counselor, and as a probation officer, therefore he has practical experience in the field. A recent month-long investigation into the current mental health system left him with some concerns about the system in which he was once employed. That, coupled with some concerns over the provision of mental health care in the United States, caused him to focus time and energy into making a positive impact on the field. This was the impetus for the book—a book intended for the public, to engage people in making sure the mental health system is an effective, efficient social institution.