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The Family Guide to Mental Health Care
Sederer, Lloyd I., MD | Foreword by Glenn Close
Norton Professional Books / Softcover / 2015-01-01 / 0393710637
Consumer/Survivor / Families and Parenting
price: $21.95 (may be subject to change)
328 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

Expert advice from the medical director of the country’s largest state mental health system and the mental health editor of The Huffington Post.

More than fifty million people a year are diagnosed with some form of mental illness. It spares no sex, race, age, ethnicity, or income level. And left untreated, mental disorders can devastate our families and communities. Family members and friends are often the first to realize when someone has a problem, but it is hard to know how to help or where to turn. Our mental health “system” can feel like a bewildering and frustrating maze. How can you tell that someone has a mental illness? What are the first and best steps for you to take? Where do you go to find the right care?

The Family Guide to Mental Health Care is the first comprehensive print resource for the millions of people who have loved ones suffering from some kind of mental illness. In this book, families can find the answers to their most urgent questions. What medications are helpful and are some as dangerous as I think? Is there a way to navigate privacy laws so I can discuss my adult daughter’s treatment with her doctor? Is my teenager experiencing typical adolescent distress or an illness? From understanding depression, bipolar illness and anxiety to eating and traumatic disorders, schizophrenia, and much more, readers will learn what to do and how to help.

Real-life scenarios and authoritative information are written in a compassionate, reader-friendly way, including checklists to bring to a doctor’s appointment so you can ask the right questions. For readers who fear they will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, this book gives hope and a path forward.

As one of the nation’s leading voices on quality care in mental health, Dr. Lloyd Sederer has played a singular role in advancing services for those with mental illness. Now, the wealth of his expertise and clear guidance is at your disposal. From the first signs of a problem to sorting through the variety of treatment options, you and your family will be able to walk into a doctor’s office know what to do and what to ask.

Reviews and Endorsements:

“[Sederer] is the rare combination of public health expert, teacher, and writer and has put all of his skills together in this superb volume. . . . This is one of the best and most practical guides for families. It will also be extremely useful in helping clinicians (physicians and other professionals) understand how to work with families and the lay language they need to use to empower families to be treatment extenders in many different settings. . .as well as to trainees and young clinicians embarking on practices that must include not only individuals in need but also interventions with families.” — Journal of Psychiatric Practice

“Dr. Lloyd Sederer has spent his impressive medical career in psychiatry and demonstrates both his knowledge and sensitivity in his book . . . . The Family Guide to Mental Health Care provides families with valuable resources, but maybe everyone should read it. To change attitudes about mental illness requires that everyone listen and understand.” — America

“[A] practical, easy-to-read assortment of information and advice for many persons who have adult loved ones with a mental illness.” — Psychiatric Services

“If you have a family member with mental illness, then The Family Guide to Mental Health Care by Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., is the book for you. . . . Even more impressive than his credentials is his straightforward, warm, compassionate tone.” — NAMI Advocate

“[A]n excellent resource for families struggling with a loved one’s mental illness.” — The National Council for Behavioral Health

“If your practice or your advocacy efforts place you anywhere near people encountering the mental health system for the first time, please have a look at this book. Piles of them – the books, not the patients – should be sitting in the waiting area of every mental health center and emergency department (ED). A brief literature search suggests there is nothing published like this book. In any case, this one is so comprehensive while remaining so welcoming; it is so authoritative and yet unintimidating, one need not look further.” — Psychiatric Times

“[A] compassionate and fact-packed guide for families struggling with mental illness.” — NAMI-NYC Metro Newsletter

“[P]ractical and compassionate.” — Booklist

“[A] thoughtful, compassionate, and fact-packed guide for recognizing illness and getting help. . . . With passionate optimism, Sederer examines the facts about diagnoses, treatments, and doctors, and suggests questions to ask at every step of the way. . . . [A] remarkable resource . . . . With a moving foreword by actress Glenn Close, who calls mental illness ‘a family affair,’ this extraordinary guide offers valuable information and inspiration.” — Publishers Weekly

“[A]n invaluable ‘must’ bible packed with resources for any family facing mental illness.” — Midwest Book Review

“I respond personally to what Lloyd Sederer writes because he makes me feel like he is sitting at this very kitchen table, gently explaining to me, with great knowledge, insight and patience, what is happening to my loved one and what my family and I can do about it.” — Glenn Close (from the Foreword)

“For families reeling from the fact that a loved one suffers from mental illness, knowing what to do and where to go to find the best treatment can be a daunting task. Lloyd Sederer’s timely book provides an informative and accessible guide to persons faced with this challenge. Dr. Sederer is uniquely qualified to advise people given his experience in virtually every sector of psychiatric medicine and mental health care. This book is indispensable to the many people who must confront mental illness.” — Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D. President-Elect, The American Psychiatric Association; Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

“The Family Guide to Mental Health Care is an invaluable resource for any family struggling to recognize the myths, fueled by stigma, and find the best care for their loved one.” — General Peter Chiarelli (Ret) 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

“In a society where the disorders of the mind and mood are too seldom understood, Dr. Sederer has provided remarkable clarity in his explanations of the illnesses for the layperson. He outlines what help is needed, where to get help, and how to manage the system for caregiving and treatment. This is a complete guide to navigating a complex and all-too-challenging world faced by anyone impacted by the challenges of mental illnesses. With outstanding clarity and sympathetic understanding he brings help to the helpers and guidance to those who can aid them.” — Connie Lieber, Past President, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), currently the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

“Dr. Sederer’s book recognizes the essential contributions families make, discusses every challenge they face, and provides them with clear and exceptionally well-informed advice. There is no book like it. I recommend this book to families as a highly useful guide for what is too often a confusing and frightening journey.” — Linda Rosenberg, MSW, CEO, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

“Many millions of people have a mental illness but most do not get the treatment and help that they need. With the knowledge to navigate the mental health care system comes the power to recover. This uniquely accessible book provides that knowledge, and is a necessary guide for patients and their families.” — Gail Saltz, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; NBC’s TODAY show mental health contributor

“When someone in your family may have a serious mental illness, you will wish that you had a senior psychiatrist nearby to give advice every step of the way. The Family Guide to Mental Health Care gives the reader this gift.” — Anand Pandya, MD, Past President and current consultant to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, UCLA

About the Author:

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, is Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the nation’s largest state mental health system and New York State’s “chief psychiatrist.” He is Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health and has served as Acting Director of The Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Rockland County, New York. Dr. Sederer is a former Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, one of the world’s foremost psychiatric hospitals, and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where he also served on the faculty.

In 2009, Dr. Sederer was recognized as Psychiatric Administrator of the Year by the American Psychiatric Association and was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar-in-Residence grant. He has also received an Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the largest family mental health advocacy group in the country.

The author of seven textbooks and more than 350 professional articles and reports, he lectures across the country and the world to families of people with mental illness, as well as to mental health policy makers, government officials, and other professionals. He is the first medical editor of The Huffington Post, where he writes frequently about mental health and the addictions, as well as provides movie and book reviews.
His Web site,, is dedicated to helping people, and their families, get the care they need to recover from mental illness and the addictions.

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