Convention (or at least David Letterman) would suggest that I stop at 10 hopes. I never was one to follow arbitrary rules, so please allow me to express more mental health wishes for 2016.
11. I hope … we find some way of addressing the shortage of psychiatrists and services. We need to make it easier for patients to link with psychiatrists they find to be helpful. Our current system is difficult to negotiate for those who are healthy and have resources. Linking to care is nearly impossible for someone with limited resources who is psychotic or severely depressed.
12. And finally, I hope ... for better treatments for our patients, ones that cure mental illnesses without causing side effects, adverse reactions, or trade-offs that sometime make the cures worse than the diseases.
Thank you for bearing with me. I’m sure you have your own mental health hopes for the coming year, and perhaps some of our wishes might even come true. Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year!
Dr. Miller is a coauthor of “Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work” (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).