Analysis Opinion

United States: inadequate mental health treatment

How the prison system respond to the needs of mentally ill prisoners?

Dr. Tasnova Malek works in the National Suicidal Prevention Center and as a medical reviewer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. Here she discusses the prevalence of mental illness among prisoners and highlights the inability of prison facilities to meet their needs. Read Dr. Malek’s insights.

About the disorders

A jail or prison in the U.S usually houses more mentally ill individuals than the largest remaining psychiatric hospital in that state. Common illnesses include:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Personality disorders such as borderline personality or antisocial disorder
  • Serious Psychological Distress (SPD)
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Tasnova Malek

Physician

Tasnova Malek, MD, graduated from Bangladesh Medical College and practiced as a primary care physician for six years in Bangladesh. After moving to the USA, she worked at Emory University Hospital in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Hospital medicine research. During COVID-19, she worked as a crisis counselor in Florida Corona Virus Emergency Response Team. Currently, she is working in the National Suicidal Prevention Center and as a medical reviewer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. In addition, she has extensive research experience in medicine and psychiatry in the USA.

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