15th Annual Prechter Lecture Featuring Norman J. Ornstein

Reforming and Transforming Our Broken System on Serious Mental Illness

The 15th Annual Prechter Lecture was held on Wednesday, October 27th, 2020 from 7:00 pm– 8:30 pm via Zoom. The lecture featured:

  • A talk by Norman J. Ornstein - including stories of his family's journey with bipolar disorder
  • A Panel discussion about the present & future of mental health policy
  • A Q & A with Norman J. Ornstein and the panelists

Featured Speaker

Norman J. Ornstein

Political Scientist
Contributing Author for The Atlantic Magazine
Frequent Commentator on MSNBC
Emeritus Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute 

Norman Ornstein is an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a contributing editor and writer for The Atlantic and has been an election eve analyst for CBS News and BBC News. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Campaign Legal Center. Ornstein is Vice President of the Matthew Harris Ornstein Memorial Foundation, named in memory of his son Matthew, who died accidentally on January 3, 2015 after a ten year struggle with serious mental illness. The Foundation, which sponsors a summer debate institute for public school kids in the Washington, DC area, spearheaded the documentary The Definition of Insanity, which premiered at the Miami Film Festival in March 2020 and was broadcast nationally on PBS in April 2020, about the transformational program on criminal justice and mental illness created by Judge Steve Leifman in Miami-Dade Country, Florida.

Ornstein was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. He was named one of the top 100 global thinkers in 2012 by Foreign Policy Magazine and one of the 250 most influential people in Washington in 2021 by Washingtonian Magazine. His many books include The New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks with Tom Mann and One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported (2017) with EJ Dionne and Tom Mann, which was immediately on the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists. Ornstein has a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan

A quote from Norm Ornstein about the mental health system:

"We now know that there are many ways of providing wraparound services for people in an outpatient setting that can help get their lives back on track, it is not perfect, but it works. We need to be putting more investment into these kinds of services.”