Perspectives on the Treatment of Mental Illness in America



Are medications the only way to treat mental illness in America? How do counseling and therapy fit into treatment programs? What actually works when treating mental illness? On this hour of “All Sides,” News Director Mike Thompson will discuss the differing perspectives on the treatment of mental illness in America.


  • Robert Whitaker (author and journalist)
  • Dr. Kevin Ware (MD., Southeast Inc. Recovery & Mental Health Care Services)
  • Mark Sullivan (Clinical Director, Vineyard Columbus Counseling Center)

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The Robert Whitaker Colloquium will be held at Miami University on April 6 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 125 of the Psychology Building. Robert Whitaker will be presenting a talk titled: “Anatomy of an Epidemic: History, Science, and the Long-Term Effects of Psychiatric Medications.” This is free and open to the public.

Click here for information on Robert Whitaker’s book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.”

Join The Conversation

  • David C. Ross, MA LPCC

    Mr. Whitaker spoke last night at OSU’s college of social work.  As always, he did a wonderful job of informing attendees of information, most I would imagine, had never heard before.  He was well received yet the evidence he is discussing is not always easy for people to hear (especially if it’s the first time they’re hearing it!).  Thanks for having him on.  The discussion he is encouraging is vital for the future of people who are struggling with life issues.  We cannot “drug” our way to happiness; yet marketing messages claim just that.  I hope you get good feedback and have a great program.

  • Anne C Woodlen

    I was on hold for 40 minutes, hoping to speak but denied the opportunity.  I took antidepressants every day for 26 years; I have been off drugs for a decade.  During the years of drugging, I did not finish my education, develop a career, get married or have children.  I did get hositalized about fifty times for a total of about three years, attempt suicide about a dozen times, and spend a month on life support.  Without drugs I have become a kick-ass activist in transportation, housing and medical care for people who are old, sick and/or poor.  I no longer get hospitalized, see a psychiatrist or therapist, or take drugs, or have any diagnosable mental illness.  I sleep in a hospital bed, breath with the assistance of a machine, travel by wheelchiar and have an indwelling catheter as a result of antidepressants.  And I sat on hold while the radio show broadcast a psychiatrist saying he knew of no long-term effects of antidepressants.  How about the radio station invites me on to tell the other side of the story?  You can contact me at

  • Suzanne Beachy

    Many thanks to Ann Fisher for inviting science writer Robert
    Whitaker to “All Sides.” And thanks to Mike Thompson for inviting former
    schizophrenia patient Mark Sullivan, who now directs a large counseling center
    in central Ohio.  Their two-fold
    message about mental health recovery is so crucial and is not being heard in
    the mainstream media. 1.) Our drug-based paradigm of care seems to be fueling a
    surging epidemic of chronic mental “illness,” iatrogenic illness, and disability. 2.) People with even the grimmest diagnoses can get well
    and stay well IF they can find competent support.

    How do people with psychiatric diagnoses get well and stay
    well? Anyone looking for hope and alternative ideas for fostering mental health
    (like the treatment model in northern Finland that has resulted in a 90 percent
    decrease in the rate of schizophrenia diagnosis in that region) can benefit
    from visiting Whitaker’s website:

    Lots of great info there from mental health professionals and former psych patients who believe in mental wellness for everyone! Thanks again, Ann!

  • 3eyesofwisdom

     This interview can help me show you what I have been trying to find the words to say.
    Dr Ware, I believe that you were taught lies. It is not your fault because people didn’t know the truth.
     I may not have all the answers, but I would like to illuminate the world a little. I may need protection from our so-called local help system. You see… never say your feeling better. It gets you hurt, and especially if you tell them you can show a new mental health system without drugs…. but maybe it wouldn’t be completely without drugs but minimal use.
    There is a lot I NEED to share, but we are struggling to keep our shelter and certain circumstances are making it more challenging.
     I like Whittaker. Thank you Whittaker for your investigative work. I have been trying to reach anyone who cares for years. I am happy that Sullivan found his way out of that. He must know some of it too… some of what I have seen. My body has many issues now. I tried near all their meds. Over 10 years. In and out of hospital. My body is now very sick and now I need medical marijuana just to eat. And everyone hates the plant.
    Not a happy situation. I would love some truth to come into the world.
    Whittaker has brought some and so has Sullivan I see.
    Dr. Ware appears to be reciting textbook things. Yes, I know what your textbook says. I have heard those words too often.
    I have come to show the roadmaps of a mind…… I can tell you about schizophrenia. I need time and resources and protection from harassment.
    I can show you how this system is set up perfectly for abuse. Some do help, but others hurt. And in a bad place the system is set up so you have to fight to quit your meds and fight to say your better and fight for your right not to be told your paranoid when you haven’t stated such a thing. There are falsehoods in my medical records. I was told this before by others. I didn’t believe them at first because I trusted the system.
    Yes, my friends, they do write falsehoods. Falsehoods that would defame a person if they committed suicide and hadn’t read their chart. I could write a book, but it gets tiring typing. I thought about doing videos, but that is a lot of work for one person. I have new trauma to deal with and process from the local help. I could use some help… not therapy. Protection and some way to keep our home, so i don’t need to worry so much while i am trying to do these things. Can anyone help? In short: I have info.