12 August 2003 — Letter from American Psychiatric Association to Fast for Freedom in Mental Health.

August 12, 2003

Mr. David Oaks
c/o Stuart Shipko, M.D.
97 W. Bellevue Drive
Pasadena, CA 91105

Dear Mr. Oaks:

I am acceding to your request that I send my response to your letter of July 28, 2003 to Dr. Stuart Shipko.

The mission of the American Psychiatric Association is to promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders and their families. In recent years, there has been substantial progress in understanding the neuroscientific basis of many mental illnesses. Research offers hope and must continue.

The answers to your questions are widely available in the scientific literature, and have been for years. I suggest you begin your review with Surgeon General David Satcher’s report, “Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.” In addition, I recommend the Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry (3rd edition), edited by Andreasen and Black. This is a “user-friendly” textbook for persons just being introduced to the field of psychiatry.

A more substantial and advanced series would include The American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.’s “Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry (4th edition),” edited by Hales and Yodofsky. For the latest science, of course, there are the American Journal of Psychiatry and Archives of General Psychiatry, among many other journals which are available in both printed and on-line versions.

These are but a few of the extensive number of scientific publications that answer your questions.

I share the concern of Rick Berkel [sic] of NAMI that your proposed activities are ill-considered and invite you to join NAMI to help improve the care of our fellow citizens who suffer from serious mental illnesses.


James H. Scully, Jr., M.D., Sc.D.
Medical Director


Cc: Michael H. Weinberg
Rick C. Birkel, Ph.D.
Richard Carmona, M.D.., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.