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Psychology/School Project on Mental Illnesses


QUESTION: I am completing a project for school on differences between how mental illnesses and physical injuries are treated. My question is: In your opinion, do you believe that mental illnesses are treated less seriously than physical injuries? Please explain your answer as well. Thank you!

ANSWER: Yes, we spend much less on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness than we do on physical injuries and diseases.  Look up the $$$ at

There are very few psych beds available today versus 30 or 40 years ago.  A person who needs to be hospitalized will have a very difficult time finding a place to go.  Most of the premier psych hospitals have closed - Payne Whitney institute - which was part of NY Hospital/Cornell for example.

If you do a google search, you will find a number of news stories on people who could not get admitted to a psych bed.  There was a case in Virginia several years ago -

While most of these cases don't end up with murder or suicide, they don't get the treatment that they need.

Here's a scholarly source :

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Since you do believe that mental illnesses are treated less seriously, what do you think can be done so that society can change their views on mental illnesses and see them as a very serious problem?

Education and advocacy are crucial.  We need to educate the public about mental illness - what it is, how it impacts people, families and society, and how we all benefit from proper diagnosis and treatment.  Then, we have to advocate to our lawmakers to improve access to proper diagnosis and treatment.

A group working on this is NAMI - National Alliance for Mental Illness.


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Katherine ONeill


I can answer academic questions about psychology. I am not a clinician (therapist), I am a research psychologist with expertise in biopsychology, general psychology, cognitive psychology, research methods and psychopharmacology.


I have 25 years experience as a researcher in health behavior, biopsychology and psychopharmacology.

Healthcare Businesswomen's Association

Applications of Market Research for Small Business UMBC Activate Program, March 2008 HIV/AIDS: An assessment of Need in the Continuum of Care. Optum Health Education., 12/2008 Maximizing the online medium for market research: Best practices. Market Research for Pharmaceuticals Conference, 12/06/2006 O誰eill, K.A. APD, ADD, ADHD and AD/HD: Personal and scientific reflections. Audiology Online, 6/6/2005. O誰eill, K.A. et al, Hyperactivity induced by NMDA injections into the nucleus accumbens. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 34(4), Dec 1989, 739-745. O誰eill, K.A. and Liebman, J.M. Unique behavioral effects of the NMDA antagonist, CPP, upon injection into the medial prefrontal cortex of rats. Brain Research, 435(1-2), Dec 1987, 371-376. O誰eill, K.A. and Gertner, S.B. Effects of centally administered H2 antagonists on motor activity. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 264, 1987, 683-686. O誰eill, K.A. and Gertner, S.B. Effects of centrally administered H2 antagonists in the behavioral despair test. 90(2), 1986, 190-192. O誰eill, K.A. Chronic desipramine attenuates morphine analgesia. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 24(1), Jan 1986, 155 158. O誰eill, K.A. and Valentino, D. Escapability and generalization: Effect on 礎ehavioral despair. European Journal of Pharmacology 78(3), March 1982, 379-80. O誰eill, K.A. et al, An automated high capacity method for measuring jumping latencies on a hot plate. Journal of Pharmacological Methods, 10(1), Aug 1983, 13-18. O誰eill, K.A., Scott, C. and Weissman, A. Naloxone enhances nociceptive responding. Society for Neuroscience, Abstract 9: 274, 1983.

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Rhode Island, 1983. Post doctoral fellow dept of psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, 1983-1984. Post doctoral fellow, dept of pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1984-1985.

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