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We Can Do Better

Urgent Innovations to Improve Mental Health Access and Care

A leading psychiatrist and expert reveals important issues in mental health care today and introduces innovations to revolutionize and improve mental health for everyone.

Mental health care systems are falling short and the consequences, for individuals and societies, are dire. In this urgent book, celebrated psychiatrist and mental health care advocate Dr. David Goldbloom outlines proven innovations in medicine and health care delivery that we all could benefit from today.

Using fictional—but all too real—examples of people suffering from various mental illnesses, from depression to opioid addiction, and drawn from his real-life experiences in this field, Dr. Goldbloom shows barriers to care and other faults in mental health care systems. He then reveals simple, yet startlingly effective tools for improving access and treatment that can help people now—if we only had the will to share, use, and fund these (and more) brilliant innovations:

-Self-referrals for faster access to care
-Apps and e-tools for treatment, rehabilitation, and self-monitoring between appointments
-Remote coaching for effectively treating common childhood problems
-Integrated youth services to improve early intervention
-Personalized care to ensure treatments don’t fail patients
-Rapid-access housing for the homeless and mentally ill so they can begin a journey of care

While technologies such as smart phones and genetic testing play a role, these innovations are about people. They address waiting times to see specialists, the lack of coordination between health care institutions, and the stigma that often comes with seeking help—even stigma among health care providers. They broaden the definition of what mental health care can even be, such as providing housing, or low-intensity training for day-to-day life.

Smart, candid, personal, and persuasive, this new book is a timely call for better access to and quality of help—a roadmap to better well-being for everyone.

Photograph by Matt Kelly

David Goldbloom, MD, is Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He is a graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and McGill University. In 2007, he was appointed Vice-Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and served as Chair from 2012–2015. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters, and edited two psychiatric textbooks. His first book, How Can I Help?, gave readers a humane behind-the-scenes account of a week in the life of a psychiatrist at one of Canada’s leading mental health hospitals. A noted public speaker, he has received many awards for his contribution to the field of psychiatry, including appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

“After treating thousands of patients over his decades long career as a psychiatrist, Dr. David Goldbloom has not only seen it all, he has seen what works. He is transparent on the many failures of mental health care and access in Canada, and offers hope by showing a way forward with the innovative methods of treatment only now gaining traction. We Can Do Better is rooted in cutting edge supports that can greatly impact many who struggle. Goldbloom provides the hope that we need, now more than ever, to navigate the often confusing waters of mental health care.” 
— CLARA HUGHES, O.C., O.M., six-time Olympic medalist and founding spokesperson of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health campaign

“Anyone who, like me, has experienced mental illness, whose family has been affected, or who works in this critical field (have I missed anyone?) should read this great book. David Goldbloom is putting his knowledge to work in an engaging, thoughtful, and personal way. Bless him for sharing his wisdom and talent in a huge cause.”
— BOB RAE, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations

More books from this author: David Goldbloom