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

[Please respond far below if you agree with the petition.]

PETITION TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

We are American psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who have come together at this critical time in our nation’s history.  We are petitioning the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to include the attached statement in the official record of its proceedings with regard to the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

We believe there are important mental health issues that need to be understood and addressed with regard to the president, who we believe poses unique dangers to the country and the world.  Our concerns transcend politics and are brought forward in accordance with the American Psychiatric Association’s ethical guidelines for our profession “to serve society by advising and consulting with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government” (Section 7.1), as we “recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health” (Section 7).

A group of us first outlined our concerns at a conference at Yale School of Medicine in April 2017, when the majority of the public believed the president was “settling in.”  This was followed by a public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, which many say predicted the course of this presidency.  Thousands of others joined us to form a professional association known as the World Mental Health Coalition.

In March of this year, top experts from 13 different fields joined us at the National Press Club with the unanimous conclusion that the president was unfit from each of their perspectives.  Our mental capacity evaluation, based on a standard procedure using extensive coworkers’ and associates’ reports in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, showed that the president lacked the ability to make rational decisions.  These are some of the reasons why we believe our perspective is important for the impeachment proceedings.

Attached you will find our brief statement for inclusion in your records.  A video recording as well as a transcript of their full statements are accessible at: DangerousCase.org.  We and others are available for further consultation.

Respectfully submitted,

Bandy X. Lee, MD, MDiv

John Zinner, MD

Jerrold M. Post, MD

[Please respond below the statement if you agree with the petition.]

STATEMENT

We are among several mental health experts making ourselves available for consultation with Congress in accordance with our ethics guideline, which states: “Psychiatrists are encouraged to serve society by advising and consulting with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government.”  We are also in keeping with the Goldwater principle that encourages psychiatrists to educate the public when asked about a public figure, so that we may improve the community and better public health.  We appreciate the momentous task Congress has with the impeachment proceedings and present ourselves as recognized experts who can answer critical questions relating to mental health.  We are among thousands of mental health professionals who have felt obligated to speak up because of the exceptional psychological dangers of this presidency.  In medicine, safety supersedes all other concerns, and we are acting in accordance with our professional responsibility to society and the humanitarian goals of medicine.

We are speaking out at this time because we are convinced that, as the time of possible impeachment approaches, Donald Trump has the real potential to become ever more dangerous, a threat to the safety of our nation.  We bear in mind that Donald Trump, as President, has the unfettered authority to launch nuclear weapons at any time for any reason.  There is no formalized way of preventing this unless his order is disobeyed by the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, who has been given the order to launch.  Short of this calamity, there are many other dangers he can pose by the use, fueled by rage, of his assumed absolute executive authority, and by the loyalists who serve him.

There are many things we can say about the psychology of Donald Trump.  He is remarkably transparent through his Twitter stream of comments, real-time video displays and newspaper accounts, past and present, as well as testimonies of persons who know or have known him.  He has shown that his sense of worth is entirely dependent on the admiration from others, such as at the rallies of his base.  Without this external affirmation, President Trump has revealed that he feels, deep down, like a loser, a failure, weak, dumb, fat, ugly, fake, “crooked”.  We know this because these self-denigrating pictures of himself, President Trump projects onto others, whom he transforms into enemies, and compensates consciously by creating a grandiose image of himself as unique, a stable genius, entitled to special treatment, and better at everything than everyone else.

What makes Donald Trump so dangerous is the brittleness of his sense of worth.  Any slight or criticism is experienced as a humiliation and degradation.  To cope with the resultant hollow and empty feeling, he reacts with what is referred to as narcissistic rage.  He is unable to take responsibility for any error, mistake, or failing.  His default in that situation is to blame others and to attack the perceived source of his humiliation.  These attacks of narcissistic rage can be brutal and destructive.  A striking but not unusual example of his lack of caring and empathy is his policy of separating children from their parents at the Southern border.  Additionally, he has made the reckless decision to allow an attack of our Kurdish allies, against all advice, shortly after announcement of the impeachment inquiry.  These events are closely related and betray his extreme inability to tolerate any challenges against him.

We have come to the conclusion that there is an ethical obligation to warn of the danger that President Trump poses.  We believe that there is a possibility of our stumbling into a war, should, for example, the adventurous Kim Jong-un have further flights of missiles over Japan or another nuclear test.  President Trump’s need to demonstrate his strength as commander-in-chief and the praise that would come from taking strong actions could lead to a very unfortunate situation.

Impeachment is the ultimate rebuke of a president, which President Trump has intensely feared, at least since the appointment of the special counsel.  Failing to monitor or to understand the psychological aspects, or discounting them, could lead to catastrophic outcomes.  For these reasons, we implore Congress to take these danger signs seriously and to constrain his destructive impulses.  We and many others are available to give important relevant recommendations as well as to educate the public so that we can maximize our collective safety.

Here are some highlights from the full, recorded statements:

“THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP: THE TRAILER”

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:

____________________

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: