American Madness

Listen here to About Health 5/27/24—94.1FM

Our mental health care system is broken, and has been for a long time. There aren’t enough psychiatric hospital beds, or psychiatrists, or therapists, or safe out patient facilities, or good follow up care, or housing, or retraining programs for people with mental illness who are leaving prison. Care often isn’t coordinated, and so many mentally ill people wind up on the streets or in prison. There are about 113,000 people in California at any time who are homeless, and about 25% of the homeless adults studied in Los Angeles County suffer from a severe mental illness. 

Please be aware that severe mental illness and suicide will be mentioned during this show, so if that might be triggering for you, you may want to skip this episode. For anyone who is needing help, please know that you can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. It’s available 24 hours a day, and it’s free and confidential support for people in distress–that’s 988.


Alice Feller is a clinical psychiatrist with a subspecialty in the treatment of substance use disorder. Many of her patients suffer from severe mental illness, and often live on the streets or behind bars.  She has worked in hospital emergency rooms, psychiatric wards, outpatient clinics, chemical dependency treatment programs and in private practice. Her approach includes psychotherapy tailored to the needs of the patient and medication where appropriate. She has taught classes on the treatment of substance use disorder and consulted to the California Medical Board on physicians impaired by chemical dependence.  She served two terms on the Berkeley Homeless Commission.  For the past two years she has been a member of FASMI (Family Advocates for Severe Mental Illness), an advocacy group campaigning for changes in the law and better mental health care.  Her recently published book is “American Madness” Fighting for Patients in a broken mental health system. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and daughter.

Another Kind Of Madness: Humanizing Mental Illness

If you missed todays show (8/21/17) Listen Now to About Health

What is it like to live with a parent with mental illness who keeps his illness a secret? And how do we as individuals and as a society reduce the stigma associated with illnesses such bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression?Silence and shame must be transformed into open dialogue.


Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and a professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco. He is the author of twelve books, and his book, Another Kind of Madness, A journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness, has just been released. His research efforts in clinical and developmental psychology have received numerous international awards.

“Another Kind of Madness is one of the best books I’ve read about the cost of stigma and silence in a family touched by mental illness. I was profoundly moved by Hinshaw’s story written beautifully, from the inside out. It’s a masterpiece.”

—Glenn Close

I’m Depressed—Now what?

Listen now to todays show (July 25, 2016) on 94.1FM, to discuss treatments for depression

imagesThere are many ways to understand depression. We discussed both traditional and more alternative ways of helping people understand their moods, and how lifestyle changes can be powerful medicine.

Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected ( Depression is not the same as the moods and emotions people experience in response to challenges and grief in everyday life. Depression varies in intensity, and for some it becomes a serious health condition—leading to difficulty at work, school, and in relationship to friends and family. Depression can also lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in people ages 15-29.
There are effective treatments for depression, but many people don’t receive help because of lack of money or healthcare, and because there continues to be social stigma associated with any mental illness.
T22e-682x1024Dr. Teray Garchitorena Kunishi, ND, offers natural and integrative programs for treating anxiety, panic, depression, insomnia, chronic stress, autoimmune conditions, and chronic fatigue. She currently serves clients all over the world via phone and video consultations. Dr. Teray has spent most of her life exploring what it means to be truly happy and well. Her inquiry has led to naturopathic medical training, research and energy work with Tibetan nuns in India, working in sustainable agriculture in the Philippines, and becoming a lifelong student of Eastern and Western spirituality. She is also certified in hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which help create new pattens of thought and behavior. You can find out more about her at:
David J. Frankel, Ph.D, is a clinical psychologist in Berkeley and Corte Madera CA. He has been the program director of  Ross Hospital Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit, and has consulted to many schools. He has supervised psychology trainees at The Wright Institute, and led a child consultation group for A Home Within, an organization that provides free psychotherapy to children in foster care.  Dr. Frankel is on the Child Colloquium Committee of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. You can learn more about his work at

david and teray