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Comments and Controversies

Psychiatry’s best hope

Vol. 9, No. 11 / November 2010

In Dr. Henry A. Nasrallah’s “Psychiatric futurology” (From the Editor, Current Psychiatry, July 2010, p. 9-10) he seems to suggest that the best hope for the future of psychiatry is continued advances in neuroscience. I contend that clinical outcomes for patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have remained static despite high-profile advances. Perhaps psychiatry’s orientation has moved too far in favor of biologic approaches and our patients would be better served by improving psychosocial approaches, such as assertive community treatment and supportive employment. These approaches, enacted in partnership with allied mental health providers, can act synergistically with biologic approaches, leading to wellness and recovery through community integration. Such an approach may provide the best hope for the future success of psychiatry.

Walter Rush, MD
South-Metro Human Services ACT
St. Paul, MN

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