Too Human
Daniel Oppenheimer
2111

I Think I’m Right, But Just in Case…

The essay “Too Human” is the product of my time as communications manager at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and in particular of my ongoing effort to reconcile the language the foundation and its allies use to talk about mental health with my own idiosyncratic notions about how we should be talking.

To be less coy about it, my gut has long been telling me that the way we (Hogg and our allies) talk about these things doesn’t square with my own intuitions about how they should be discussed, if the goal is to achieve the things we say we want to achieve.

I trust my gut, which is why the essay lands where it does, with a suggestion that we should rethink some of our basic ways of talking about mental health and illness. But I don’t trust my gut that much, which is why I reached out to some colleagues from various realms of the mental health world and asked them to respond to the essay. These responses, IMHO, are pretty remarkable. You should read them.

What the Black Power Movement Can Teach Us About Contemporary Mental Health Campaigns

By Samuel Beasley, assistant professor of counseling education and counseling psychology at Western Michigan University. Beasley’s primary line of research focuses on predictors of academic outcomes among Black college students.

On the “Too Human”

By Frank Richardson, professor (emeritus) of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Richardson is the author of Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice.

Beyond False Dichotomies

By Leah Harris, a mother, survivor, and a storyteller working for cultural shift in how we understand and respond to emotional distress, mental health, trauma, addiction, homelessness, incarceration, and suicide.

When Life Happens…

By Collette Chapman-Hilliard, assistant professor of psychology at the College of Staten Island. Her research interests relate broadly to examining the psychological experiences of racial and ethnic groups, particularly people of African descent, as well as exploring issues of social justice and diversity.

Lessons on Changing the World from the Man Who Helped End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Q&A with Aaron Belkin, the founding director of the Palm Center, a research institute that played a key role in the successful effort to end the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” (DADT) policy.

Yes! We Can All Be Too-much

By Daniel Garcia, psychologist and psychoanalytic candidate based in Houston, Texas. In addition to his clinical work, Garcia conducts research in the areas of psychoanalytic phenomena, the psychology of religion, anxiety disorders, shame, and self-forgiveness.

Starting with People First

By Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America and author of Losing Tim: How Our Health and Education Systems Failed My Son with Schizophrenia.