World Mental Health CoalitionWorld Mental Health Coalition

The new edition! Ten more mental health experts join the original 27
to illustrate the social, cultural, and geopolitical consequences of
Trump’s psychological dangerousness.

The original book of 27 experts offered our consensus view that Trump’s
mental state presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual
well-being.

For a safer world

OUR URGENT LETTER TO CONGRESS

To Members of Congress of the United States:

As mental health professionals, authors of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, and members of the World Mental Health Coalition, we believe it is urgent to call attention to the danger the President may pose to the country as the impeachment investigation unfolds. While Congress’ more decisive action may create a sense of security, our perspective based on the President’s track record suggests otherwise. Already, the President has threatened the currently anonymous whistleblower and the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He has also retweeted a prediction of civil war should he be impeached.

None of us has clinically examined the President and therefore we refrain from making any diagnosis. However, our examination of his public record leads us to believe that he has the pattern of fragile sense of self and is prone to blame and attack others when threatened. The President has also shown himself willing to encourage violence against his perceived enemies.

The unfolding of an impeachment inquiry raises the specter of President Trump feeling threatened in ways he never has before. This sense of threat is likely to lead to an exacerbation of his attacks on perceived enemies and to increased encouragement of violence against them. This encouragement may lead to violent actions by others, such as we have seen over the last couple of years but highly exacerbated.

We also should not ignore the President’s ability to initiate a conflict with other countries in order to distract from his political troubles, perhaps with the hope of rallying the country around him, as often happens at the beginning of armed conflict. The fact that the President holds in his hands alone the ability to initiate nuclear war cannot be ignored.

We issue this letter to request that honorable lawmakers take these fears of increased violence seriously and plan accordingly. As mental health professionals, we have a professional obligation to use our knowledge and expertise to help individuals and groups avoid harm. Our ethical guidelines also encourage us “to serve society by advising and consulting with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government.”

Two things are urgent:

  1. The impeachment hearings must proceed with all deliberate speed, and
  2. If possible, Congress should reinforce existing laws that limit a president’s ability single-handedly to make war or launch military actions.

Respectfully submitted

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO TALK ABOUT A PRESIDENT’S MENTAL HEALTH?
New Haven, CT — At our panel discussion at Yale Law School on 19 September 2019, Yale Law School alumnus and Chief White House Ethics Counsel under the George W. Bush administration, Richard W. Painter, and cultural psychologist and past President of the Association of Black Psychologists, Dr. Kevin Washington, spoke on the public interest of hearing from mental health experts and the cultural perils that can come when experts are silenced.

To watch a recording of the panelist presentations, please click below:

Critical Mental Health Questions for Robert Mueller

Washington, DC, and nationwide locations — At our online town hall on 23 July 2019, we opened with a 10-minute highlights video from our interdisciplinary conference in March, a 6-minute video illustrating our report on the Special Counsel’s report from April, and a presentation of five critical questions we were posing to Robert Mueller on the day before his testimony.  The same content was provided to Congress members in a private session earlier that day.

To watch the live stream of our town hall, please click below:

PANELISTS AND AUTHORS OF THE REPORT TO THE MUELLER REPORT:

Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div. – forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine

Edwin B. Fisher, Ph.D. – clinical psychologist at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Leonard L. Glass, M.D., M.P.H. – psychiatrist at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School

James R. Merikangas, M.D. – forensic neuropsychiatrist and violence expert at George Washington University

James Gilligan, M.D. – forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at New York University School of Law

Click here to download pdf of conference information.

AUTHORS OF THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP RELEASE MENTAL HEALTH ANALYSIS OF MUELLER REPORT

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH COALITION INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE

The Dangerous State of the World and the Need for Fit Leadership

Washington, DC — At the National Press Club Grand Ballroom, on 19 March 2019, a panel of 13 leading experts from the fields of psychiatry, law, history, political science, economics, social psychology, nuclear science, climate science, journalism, and propaganda came together in unprecedented ways during unprecedented times to discuss the urgent topic of presidential fitness.

To watch our live stream, please click below:

To watch us on C-SPAN, please click below:

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SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Bandy Lee – Leading Violence Expert, Forensic Psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine, President of the World Mental Health Coalition

Jerrold Post – former Leading CIA Psychological Profiler and Director of Political Psychology Program at George Washington University

Jeffrey Sachs – Leading Economist, University Professor, and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University

Richard Painter – former Chief White House Ethics Counsel for the Bush/Cheney Administration and Professor of Law at University of Minnesota

Ruth Ben-Ghiat – Leading Historian, Professor at New York University, and Expert on Fascism, Authoritarianism, War, and Propaganda

Gar Alperovitz – Leading Political Scientist, Founding Fellow of leading Policy Institutes, and former Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland

Philip Zimbardo – Leading Social Psychologist and Principal Investigator of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Joseph Romm – Leading Climate Expert, former Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

Scott Ritter – Leading Nuclear Expert and former United Nations Weapons Inspector in Iraq

Jason Stanley – Leading Philosopher of Language and Epistemology and Professor at Yale University

David Cay Johnston – Pulitzer Prize-winning Investigative Journalist and Reporter on Worldwide Tax, Public Finance, and Business

Jamie Raskin – U.S. Representative for Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District

Mehdi Hasan – British Political Journalist and Broadcaster for Al Jazeera and the Intercept

Click here to download pdf of conference information.

WHO WE ARE

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH COALITION

Meet the 37 authors of the book and thousands of other professionals who have come together in historically unprecedented ways to offer our consensus view that Donald Trump’s mental state presents a clear and present danger to the nation and the world.

An ethics conference on the topic at Yale School of Medicine in April 2017 drew national attention and led to the first book, which became an instant New York Times bestseller and the Washington Post’s “most courageous book of the year.”  Demands for an update gave rise to a second book, which was released in March 2019.  Meanwhile, we have become the nation’s first and largest mental health professionals-only organization to address the issue of dangerous mental instability in the highest office of the land.  Joining with our international partners, we have recently renamed ourselves the World Mental Health Coalition (formerly the National Coalition of Concerned Mental Health Experts).

While Mr. Trump in the office of the U.S. presidency is our greatest and most immediate concern, we are also working toward prevention by helping humanity to build for itself a healthier and more sustainable world where impaired leaders are less likely to rise to power.  While we can assess societal mental health, we cannot improve it on our own.  Multidisciplinary partnerships are necessary to that end, which is why we began with an interdisciplinary conference with the release of the second book.  Subsequently, we performed a mental capacity evaluation based on the Mueller report (mental capacity is a basic requirement for fitness) and presented it at an online town hall the day before Robert Mueller’s testimony.  Upcoming in September 2019, we will hold a conference at Yale Law School around the need for mental health experts to be a part of national discourse.  We believe that a healthy and empowered polity must have access to facts as well as to expertise.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

We are not the ‘Duty to Warn’ group:  Duty to Warn (https://www.adutytowarn.org/ and https://twitter.com/duty2warn) is a political group that continues to copy and to claim ownership of our efforts.  Multiple mental health professionals, including the editor, have asked to be taken off their Super PAC, as we object to using professional credentials to donate to a political party, to support specific candidates, and to solicit big partisan donors, but they have refused.  We also do not diagnose, suggest political solutions, or approve of presenting themselves as a group of “mental health professionals” when most members are laypersons.  We are professionals who oppose the use of our work to political ends, especially without our consent.

We take ethics seriously:  Both the president and the vice president of this organization have been staunch defendants of the Goldwater rule for decades.  This is why we consider what the American Psychiatric Association has done under this administration to be especially egregious.  It failed to clarify to the public that the Goldwater rule is an affirmative obligation: that we participate in activities that improve the community and better public health—and educate the public when asked about a public figure while refraining from diagnosis.  By inflating the “do not diagnose” part while suppressing the “educate to better public health” part, it gagged an entire profession and protected a destructive government.  We object to this politicization of psychiatric ethics by placing a public figure (who is not a patient) over public health and safety (our primary responsibility).

More on the political use of the Goldwater rule is explained here: