Op-Ed: U.S. Mental Health Industry Should Embrace Choices Beyond Medication


The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care’s Yana Jacobs says medications for mental health issues could have serious consequences for your physical health.

“Most people who are in a psychosis or diagnosed with one of the psychotic types of diagnosis, like schizophrenia, they don’t even get therapy, they are immediately started on medications. There’s a lot of problems with that,” she explained. “The current public mental health system has evolved to a place that it’s very heavily weighted with a medical model. We miss the story behind what happened to the person and how they go there.”

According to Jacobs, many patients seeking resources for their mental health are told that they’re going to be ill the rest of their life — but that there’s really no science behind that. However, she also believes there are programs out there that provide effective therapeutic treatment, and educational resources regarding mental health, as opposed to just prescribed medications.

“I think it’s important that people recognize that people with lived experience that have been in the system, that have been on meds, that have been diagnosed are really our experts,” she explained. “If we don’t include them, and build programs with their leadership and their voice at the table, we’re gonna go off in the wrong direction.”

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