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2020 AAMHS Speaker




Mental Health and Mental Illness: Deadly Misconceptions

The human brain is the most complex machine ever constructed and is the basis of mental functions that underlie our humanity. In contrast to “Physical” illnesses, however, mental illnesses are marked by enormous stigma and personal and societal denial with deadly consequences. Mental illness is widely prevalent with almost one in four persons affected in the course of a year. Mental illnesses are debilitating and comprise 5 of the top 10 causes of medical disability in the world. Effective treatments are available for various mental illnesses with proper utilization leading to significant reduction in disability and varying degrees of recovery. Untreated mental illness leads to increased mortality and early death. I will summarize the nature of mental illness and strive to dispel many of the daily misconceptions with a particular focus on the African American population.

Dr. Rajiv Tandon

Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Western Michigan University Homer
Stryker MD School of Medicine