Over the last thirty years America has more than quadrupled its mental health spending and significantly increased the
number of mental health professionals, yet many of the most common mental illnesses are on the rise. It seems strange
that increased spending on mental health treatment is correlated with the growth of mental illness. But what if it’s not
just a surprising correlation? What if the mental health industry is part of the problem?
To answer that question we interviewed the nation’s’ leading experts and many families dealing with mental illness.
What we discovered is that most mental health patients are receiving outdated and disproven treatments. The problem
is caused by a fracture between mental health researchers and practitioners: what researchers discover to be the most
effective treatments seldom influence what treatments practitioners actually provide. Instead, practitioners choose
treatments based on clinical intuition rather than scientific research.
So why is the mental health field so different from the medical field’s evidenced-based treatments? The medical field
used to be just like the mental health field: Doctors choose treatments based on personal preferences rather than
proven effectiveness, which led to a lot of poor outcomes. But that all changed in the 1960s when medical
professionals established a method for evaluating research and selecting proper treatments. The revolution was known
as evidence-based practice or EBP. The success has been well documented, saving hundreds of thousands of lives each
year. But the mental health field has not made the transition.
Going Sane asks the question, if EBP has been so successful for the medical field, why hasn’t the mental health field embraced it? The mental health field is held back for one primary reason: practitioners tend to blame families for the mental conditions of their children even though for the last fifty years research has continued to prove that families are generally not responsible for mental illnesses. Instead, involving family members in the treatment is crucial to success. But mental health professionals continue to isolate patients and remain unaccountable to families who are left to care for their loved ones once the treatment has proven, yet again, unsuccessful.
Will call tickets may be picked up at The Cary Box Office beginning one hour prior to the movie.