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The Overlook Press | Publicity

The groundbreaking, crucial call to action for America’s broken mental health
system, by a prize-winning investigative journalist, including a look at the
impact the Trump presidency could have on people with mental illness


How Corruption, Lax Oversight and Failed Reforms Endanger
Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Art Levine
*Exclusive Excerpt featured in Newsweek*
*Featured on “Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang” SiriusXM*
*Featured on CSPAN, “After Words”*

“A searing indictment of the sorry state of the American mental health care system
as seen from the perspective of those who have been victimized by it.”

“[A] trenchant exposé . . . While lauding judicious medication, Levine takes aim at endemic
‘drug-and-sedate’ practices. He sees hope in institutional reform, peer-to-peer counseling and
innovations in de-stigmatizing therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The mental health system in America is hardly the front-burner

issue it should be. Yet everyone should care deeply about fixing
a system a presidential commission report found to be in
“shambles,” especially when 20% of Americans suffer from
mental health conditions and are in dire need of proper
treatment. Reports show that suicide is the second most common
cause of death for people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-
four. Thirty percent of all Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam vets
treated by the VA suffer from PTSD, yet access to well-trained
mental health providers who do more than just write “off-label”
antipsychotic prescriptions remains woefully lacking.

In MENTAL HEALTH, INC.: How Corruption, Lax Oversight

and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
(The Overlook Press; $30 US / $40 CAN; ISBN: 978-1-4683-
0837-2; On Sale: August 15, 2017), award-winning investigative journalist Art Levine
delivers a Shock Doctrine-style exposé of the failures of our out-of-control, profit-driven
mental health system, the lives that have been destroyed as a result, and the professionals who
are offering hope by fighting for personalized, compassionate care.
In his hard-hitting, to-the-minute reporting, Levine uses his investigative background to take a
deep dive into the causes behind the terrible state of our mental health industry. He reveals the
ways in which officials overseeing federal health programs and local facilities push a Big
Pharma agenda, limit the spread of effective treatments that include the judicious use of

medications, and fail to halt an epidemic of malpractice. He also examines the barriers to
mental health care presented by the Trump presidency and the disastrous potential effects of
repealing key features of Obamacare.

MENTAL HEALTH, INC. provides compelling narrative portraits of victims who were
needlessly harmed, recounts stories of the mentally ill people who won unexpected victories,
and reveals the shocking consequences a corrupt and unstable mental health system has on
America’s most vulnerable citizens through:

• Federal failure to ensure quality of mental health and drug treatment programs in
effectively treating drug abuse and mental illness, thus drastically worsening the opioid
• The fatal overprescribing of antipsychotics to children and the elderly in nursing
homes, leading to the preventable deaths of 15,000 senior citizens a year.
• The heartbreaking stories of soldiers’ transitions from the battlefield to civilian life,
worsened by the VA’s lack of proper treatment for those suffering from PTSD and
overprescribing of opiates and off-label antipsychotics.
• The continuing VA cover-ups and attacks on whistleblowers, even under the new
Secretary of Veteran Affairs, David Shulkin.
• Previously unreported examples of how drug industry donations to VA researchers
helped turn the agency into a propaganda arm of Big Pharma and fueled the civilian
opiate epidemic.
• An investigative narrative—excerpted in Newsweek—on the dangerous and abusive
teen residential treatment facilities in Alabama and across the country, which has
directly helped spur new Alabama state legislature cracking down on these
unregulated programs.
• The growing number of mass shootings in America correlated in part to mental illness
and a contrasted look at the revolutionary Los Angeles threat assessment team that has
prevented over fifty planned attacks.
• The dramatic David v. Goliath stories of the few brave reformers willing to stand up to
the giant pharmaceutical companies and the VA.

By shining a light on current mental health abuses and dangerous practices as well as pointing
toward solutions for creating a system of effective, proven, and compassionate care, Art
Levine’s essential MENTAL HEALTH, INC. is a call to action for politicians and citizens
alike—needed now more than ever.

ART LEVINE, a prize-winning contributing editor of The Washington Monthly, has written
for The American Prospect, Salon, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones and numerous
other publications. Among other awards, he was named “Journalist of the Year” by the Florida
chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 2001 for his articles in City Link, a
Florida weekly, exploring the criminalization of the mentally ill in South Florida. As a Health
Policy Fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute, he wrote a prescient major report, Parity-
Plus: A Third Way Approach to Fix America’s Mental Health System that looked at roadblocks
to using effective treatments. Since then, he has exposed a wide range of corporate and
government wrongdoing, in a series of articles for Newsweek, The American Prospect, The
Washington Monthly and Salon, among others.

For more information or to schedule an interview / feature with Art Levine, please contact:
Elizabeth Shreve / / 202-362-0770
Lauren Roberts / / 212-673-2534


The Overlook Press Ÿ Hardcover Ÿ $30.00 US / $40.00 CAN Ÿ Pages 352 Ÿ Trim Size: 6” x 9”
ISBN: 978-1-4683-1440-1 Ÿ Current Affairs / Psychology / Medicine
Publication Date: August 15, 2017 Ÿ

Praise for Mental Health, Inc. Continued:
* Featured on AlterNet *
“Art Levine has devoted decades to understanding the politics, science, and economics of
health. Mental Health, Inc. is the culmination of that work, presenting an original and
convincing case about the failures of the mental-health industrial complex in general and
the Department of Veteran Affairs in particular. This book is in the classic non-partisan,
fact-based exposé tradition and deserves wide attention.”
—James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic

“As this debate will only grow and grow, it’s great to have a book like Mental Health,
Inc. [which is] about the business of making a buck off of other people’s mental illness . . .
It exposes the shambles that is our mental health system . . . essential . . . a powerful book.
Everyone should read Mental Health, Inc."
—John Fugelsang, "Tell Me Everything," SiriusXM

"Levine hit[s] hard on corruption, oversight failures and how failed reforms put vulnerable
citizens at risk . . . analyzing the problem of Big Pharma in our country where veterans and
Americans are exploited for profit at all costs . . . All veterans and those concerned about
our country should consider getting a copy of this powerful book.”

“This well-researched book reveals the scope of an entrenched problem, but it also
offers hope . . . Reading Levine’s work might very well be the key to spurring
concerned stakeholders into action.”
—Publishers Weekly

“An alarming report on the dire state of our nation’s mental health care industry . . . Amid a
surfeit of drug company scandals, lawsuits, and blatant wrongdoings, Levine’s compelling
exposé brings the contemporary state of mental health care into stark focus. But it also fairly
offers redemption and hope in the form of modern-day heroes armed with proactive recovery
programs and alternative therapies. An urgent, balanced, eye-opening
plea for mental health care reform.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“In Mental Health Inc., Art Levine presents a convincing case that corruption and failed
political policies have waylaid our mental health system and led to great harm. His reporting
on successful programs points to a way out of this morass, if only we can find
the societal will to pursue such change.”
—Robert Whitaker, New York Times-bestselling author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and
Mad in America

“Mental Health, Inc. is a deep investigation of the horrifying inadequacy and dangerous
practices that are all-too-common in our so-called health care ‘system.’ An important
and compelling plea for humane reforms.”
—Maia Szalavitz, New York Times-bestselling author of Unbroken Brain

“Mental Health, Inc. is a hard-hitting text exposing hard-to-swallow realities within the
underbelly of the mental health industry and its relationship with the Department of
Veterans Affairs. Disabled veterans have long been the tip of the spear for risky,
off-label drug treatments within the industry. Levine unearths uncomfortable
truths in the system that explain why.”
—Benjamin Krause, JD, Chief Editor,

“Mental Health, Inc. is gripping in the sense that you’ll literally grip the book tightly in both
hands as you read this horrifying account of our twisted mental health system. Art Levine has
tirelessly researched stories of individuals whom our system has failed . . . and he is a crusader
on a mission to hold executives and bureaucrats accountable.”
—New York Journal of Books