Mental Health Care Issues in America

An Encyclopedia

by Michael Shally-Jensen, Editor


Serious mental illness affects over 14 million people in the United States, with 1 out of 4 Americans experiencing mild to severe symptoms at some point in their lives. While advances have been made in terms of the drugs available for treatment, a more holistic approach may provide deeper insight into the causes and effects of this pandemic.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Mental Health Care Issues in America

January 2013


Pages 925
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Psychology/General

This two-volume encyclopedia examines the social, cultural, and political dimensions of mental illness in America.

Americans are becoming more cognizant of the importance of mental wellness as incidents of bullying, random shootings, and eating disorders pervade our society. This comprehensive resource provides an expansive overview of mental health and illness in the United States, analyzing the current state of the health care system, and objectively examining the therapies and treatment options traditionally recommended by the medical community.

Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia covers major mental disorders, theories, and treatments; delves into major advances and ongoing controversies in the field; and shares the most current research on the subject in varied disciplines, including ethnic studies, criminal justice, education, and social work. Each entry features a clear definition of the issue along with a brief review of its history. Additionally, the author situates the material within the mental health field, as well as within society in general. Organized alphabetically, topics include advocacy, legal issues, media portrayals of psychological disorders, and homelessness and mental illness.


  • Contributions from a wide array of experts, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and public health professionals
  • Sidebars that discuss topics of interest related to the main body of an entry
  • Topical bibliographies, including web resources, for each entry
  • Tables of data and other valuable information
  • Selected black-and-white photos and illustrations


  • Written in accessible language, with specialized terms used selectively and clearly defined
  • Covers most of the major mental disorders and the various therapeutic approaches available
  • Includes entries dealing with professions of psychology and psychiatry well as the pharmaceutical industry
  • Contains topically arranged lists for thematic study
Author Info

Michael Shally-Jensen, PhD, is an independent writer and author. He is editor of ABC-CLIO's Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues as well as numerous other works in the social sciences and social history. Shally-Jensen is former editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Americana and executive editor of Encyclopedia of American Studies. He received his doctorate in cultural anthropology from Princeton University.



"This encyclopedia provides a balanced and compassionate introduction to the full range of psychological issues that people experience today. . . . This comprehensive, two-volume work considers the many dimensions that influence the delivery of mental health care services to a population with great cultural and socioeconomic diversity."Choice

"A wealth of information that is well organized and thoroughly researched."ARBA

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