Mental Health Shark Tank

Mental Health Shark Tank

Question: In the Book of Woe, Gary Greenberg offers a stinging intellectual critique of the DSM-5, and of psychiatric diagnosis more generally. In Insane, Alisa Roth details the mental health crisis that is raging across Americas courts, jails and prisons.

Your Challenge: Help Solve Americas Health Crisis.

In part one of your essay, drawing both on BOW and ACT, please make 7 specific suggestions for how we might use research to improve one or more aspects of mental health treatment.  Elaborate each research suggestion sufficiently so the reader can tell what it would entail. In your response, be sure you clearly explain how it connects to material in BOW and/or ACT (use chapter or page references to solidify these links).

In part two your essay, imagine that you are part of a research organization (like a university or foundation). Your goal is to develop a project that will allow you to conduct research on 1 of your 7 suggestions to improve mental health treatment. The only problem is that you need money to make this project a reality. You have been invited to make a shark tank like presentation of your idea to Bill Gates. Bill Gates, through the Gates Foundation, has become passionate about spending his fortune to fund mental health research. He will provide a budget of up to $5 million dollars for any research project that has the potential to improve mental health treatment (this money can be spent on salaries for researchers, equipment, paying participants, etc). Gates will only be able to fund the best 5 projects from more than a 100 applicants. To be successful, your presentation must connect to Gates’ core concerns.


*Mr. Gates is a practical man so he will want to be sure that the money will be well spent.

*At the same time, Mr. Gates is a visionary, so he will also be interested in your larger overall vision.

*You’ll want to make sure that Mr. Gates understands how your work will benefit psychology and society (including the people who struggle with mental health problems).

*Mr. Gates does not have a lot of time so try to get to the bottom lines quickly.

In sum, in your brief speech, outline how you will accomplish your goals and convince Mr. Gates that your research program is an exciting and worthwhile investment.

*In doing so, please draw upon BOW, ACT and all of your knowledge learned in this course.

Outside sources are welcomed, but they are absolutely not required


Length:  9 to 10 double-spaced pages for your text.

12-point type and normal margins.

Do not include a separate title page

Use parenthetical references for all references to BOW and ACT .

If you use outside sources, please include an additional reference page.

Grading Criteria:

Papers will be evaluated on: a) correctness of format (e.g., length, following assignment instructions for space allocations; b) writing quality (grammar, clarity, organization);  c) quality, coherence and persuasiveness of the 7 suggestions; d) how well you use both BOW and ACT to support your 7 suggestions; e) quality, coherence, and persuasiveness of the shark tank proposal and f) how well other knowledge learned in the course is integrated into the essay.

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