Because Dr. Insel is such an understated writer, it is easy to miss the audacity to be found in Healing ... Dr. Insel has made the most of the revelation, traveling widely to identify the crisis of care and look for solutions. Healing is the product of this odyssey—and a compelling summary of all that he learned along the way.
Rarely does a book come along that has so much potential to influence American policy and quality of life as this one does ... In clear detail, using extensive research and narratives, many of them personal, he defines the social factors that have led to this crisis ... Readers of this important book will gain a greater, more complete understanding of mental health issues in the United States and will be pointed toward steps that could lead to radical change in mental health care.
A profound diagnosis of the ills and promises of the United States’ mental health-care system ... In breaking down how mental illness became so pervasive, Insel explains the history of health-care policy in America ... Insel offers a solid history of how systemic issues such as homelessness, mass incarceration, and for-profit health insurance keep the country tied to ineffective means of treating mental illness. But it’s not all doom and gloom: he offers a sense of hopeful solutions ... It’s as compassionate as it is comprehensive.
The author often slights evidence suggesting that the poor results persist because some common treatments do not work or are overused rather than underused. He ignores, for example, well-regarded studies that have found that depression and ADHD are overdiagnosed and overtreated, and he oversells some treatments he supports. For readers who can live with Insel’s overly bullish view of certain remedies, however, this book offers a wealth of fresh, clear, and mercifully jargon-free facts and insights into America’s mental health care problems and possible solutions ... Despite a few unpersuasive arguments, this is a formidable entry in the field of books about the mental health crisis.