DJ Jaffe passed away on August 23rd, 2020. DJ was the executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and one of our nation’s most prominent advocates for the seriously mentally ill. DJ helped lead the campaigns to pass New York’s Kendra’s Law and the federal Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. His 2017 book Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill, is a masterwork of social policy analysis. DJ was a friend and ally to numerous families of mentally ill relatives and others working to reform the system.
This event will reflect on DJ’s legacy and look forward to the prospects for future reform. Thanks in no small part to DJ’s efforts, the future holds promise. For example, there is now a bipartisan consensus on the urgent need to treat mental illness among our incarcerated and homeless populations. At the same time, many challenges remain. The mental health services system remains fragmented and hard to navigate, inpatient bed capacity is inadequate, and too many seriously mentally ill individuals lack access to appropriate treatment options.
On September 24, join the Manhattan Institute for a virtual discussion on the legacy of DJ Jaffe and the future of mental illness policy reform.