"You Need Help is clearly on-target in answering the question that repeatedly surfaces during our contacts with hundreds of people who are desperately seeking to help a relative or close friend suffering from an apparent mental illness. Far too often we are told of someone’s loved one who struggles with frightening erratic feelings or behaviors and has rejected seeing a mental health professional for diagnosis, claiming that “I’m not sick, you are!”.

Against the backdrop of out-of-control emotions, the family frequently experiences the chilling and paralyzing fear of threatened or imminent suicide, should they intervene with expectations for psychiatric care. And so it was heartwarming to read through the contents of “You Need Help” which is replete with descriptive examples and step-by-step suggestions offering a rich, thorough and caring guide of options available to caregivers. The reader is empowered and informed on several pathways leading to competent care.

This book will be included on our recommended resource list for both its thoroughness in providing critical answers and also for its message of hope for families and sufferers of a mental illness. Dr. Komrad’s Hippocrates quotation, “diagnosis is half the cure" is both relevant and exquisitely timeless.

-Diane and Jim Hall, NAMI and NEA.BPD Family Educators

5.0 out of 5 stars

Packed full of critical information and hope

THANK YOU to Dr. Komrad! I wish I had this book 2 years ago because it has taken me that long to learn by trail and error what this book can tell me on a single page. This book deals with the biggest obstacle to successful treatment of mental illness there is--getting them through the door. From the appendix alone, in space of a few minutes, I learned how to expedite my resources searches.

There is enough realistic hope bound in this book to change a nation.

I am recommending this book to everyone in my NAMI support group. I bought two copies for myself; one to keep and one to lend.

   -- Elizabeth Williams

REVIEWS  (from Amazon, etc.)

For readers in a hurry, the appendix "Seven Steps for Convincing a Loved One to Get Help" is a good coaching tool, and it summarizes the chapters that precede it.

Families and friends face extraordinary challenges helping a loved one enter and remain in mental health treatment. They also will face a bewildering mental health system and terribly uneven quality of care. They need information, support and coaching. Dr. Komrad's book can help.

--From the book review in The Huffington Post by Lloyd Sederer M.D.

Read many books and this is on the top of my list


i read this and will reread to gather all the information I need. Everyone needs help in one way or another, but some just won't help themselves, helps me deal with someone I love who has messed up their life with anger, abandonment issues. read many books and this is on the top of my list.


Your book is brilliant.  

It is clear, concise, and very readable, very important qualities, considering your target audience.  If your book helps one person, it will have been a success.   I suspect that it will help thousands.

---Don Slater


Great Book!

This book clears the path for you as you arrange to get psychiatric help for someone who might be resistant. Easy to read and understand, it clearly instructs you how to proceed each step of the way. As a bonus, Dr. Komrad provides great communication strategies for interacting about difficult topics with anyone in your life at home, work or elsewhere.

--Brian Lerner, M.D., Johns Hopkins

Ordinary folks like us DO need help, and you have helped us!

I found Dr. Komrad's book exceptionally helpful. After losing a child to suicide, my husband and I founded a non-profit to help our community deal with mental health crises and acquaint them with the resources they need. This book is the "handbook" we were waiting for! Dr. Komrad's emphasis on the family being the most powerful ally is such an insightful observation, and aligns with everything we believe about the role community and family play in these crises. Ordinary folks like us DO need help, and you have helped us! What you address. . .  is KEY to what we would like to communicate to the community we serve in the yearly forums here at the Community Alliance for Health Minds in San Diego.  How I wish your work brought you westward—what an honor it would be to meet you and hear you in person.  I cannot emphasize how relevant your message is to the many who feel lost as they attempt to navigate the unruly waters of mental health.  Thank you for your gift to us today!  3 books from Amazon are in the mail to my house..

    --Connie Kennemer cahmsd.org

Has everything beautifully laid out

After teaching NAMI's Family-to-Family Class and facilitating the Family Support Group for many years, there was much that I already knew.  Having said that, however, I thought that  Dr. Komrad's book has everything beautifully laid out.  I will certainly be purchasing his book for our library and encouraging our family caregivers to buy it also.

    --Karen DuBois

Thank you for giving us a ray of hope on a difficult, often stormy, horizon.


Thank you for writing this book. I greatly appreciate the depth and scope of it. I believe it is destined to be a classic.

I have to tell you that I have read your book. I had preordered it after hearing you speak in Seattle. I came back from that conference so inspired that it has changed the scope of my volunteer efforts with NAMI.  Your book helped light that fire.  Durning the years that my son when undiagnosed, I wish I would have meet a professional like you that would have given me the kind of encouragement that your book does. As an active member of NAMI I see it every week: people trying to manage their family members alone.  That is why I think your book is a game changer.  "You Need Help"  is:  you need help, I need help, we need help--get help.  I'm glad the title is uses the word counseling. This is so over looked.

This book is a game changer. I wish we had more doctors like you We are making available 20 copies of the book for our NAMI group. Your book takes these concepts to a level that reaches a broader scope and turns the task into a simple step--get an evaluation by a professional.  

    --Jean Williams

WOW!! This is a book for everyone! Grab it.

Dr. Komrad brings his years of experience, keen intelligence and a kind heart to bear in this dynamic and captivating work. His warmth and understanding of how hard it can be to love someone, see them in pain and yet be unable to get them the help they need, is a key element to the book's success. The subject is a delicate one- but if you have been in the position of knowing a family member needs support from a mental health professional, you know how much this good advice can mean. He helps us, one step at a time, through how to make sure that your loved one gets help. The book does not stop at the easy stuff--but tells you what do--how do get the whole family involved and how to create an environment of inevitability that help will be sought, without alienating the person you love. Not easy--but if you need guidance getting help for your husband, wife sister child or anyone close to your heart, please read this book and keep it close!

--Joel H. Saltz M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Emory University

Is someone else making you suffer? Do you need help to get them?

Is someone else making you suffer? Do you need help to get them help? This is the book for you. Komrad acknowledges the suffering that others experience when someone with an untreated problem is allowed to continue creating chaos just because we don't know how to help. If you are reading this you have already struggled with many a dilemma. Thank you Dr. Komrad for all of the solid guidance in this book. When you order this book, order two. It is that good!


An outstanding book

Dr. Komrad wrote an outstanding book here with so many important points. . . .Its a great read that I really enjoyed. There are also many reference materials as well recommendations for addiction treatment etc. A very thorough and enjoyable read, which will hopefully help out many people and relationships.


Simple reading and powerful tools!!

This book covers mental health issues and provides a great background history up to current times and trends. The book specifically gives you options in how to help friends or family members in the grips of addition. I found the information valuable to me as an intern going into the counseling field as well as an individual who has been looking for ways to assist a family member begin treatment for alcohol abuse/dependency. This book provides those tools and a wealth of experience from the author. Simple reading and powerful tools!!!

--Anna 1027

There are precious few books that address this serious problem and this one provides clear, actionable ideas.. . a big help.

I have a sibling who is haunted with paranoid psychosis and is either unaware of the need for/possibility of help or is in complete denial. It's probably the former. No amount of persuasion or logical reasoning has been effective. Dr. Komrad's book provides much-needed guidance and encouragement for addressing this tough problem. There are precious few books that address this serious problem and this one provides clear, actionable ideas. While there is unfortunately no magic bullet and our current laws preserve individual liberties until the situation is desperate or lethal (and sometimes beyond) this book offers support and clarity on what to do once you've decided that it's imperative to get your loved one help. The doing is the hard part, but taking away the questioning of whether you're doing the right thing is a big help.

--Studious Reader

I wish you had written this book a couple of years ago when my husband and I were trying to get our daughter treatment.

This book will be extremely helpful for family members and consumers! I wish you had written this book a couple of years ago when my husband and I were trying to get our daughter treatment.  The information you provide in this book will be valuable to family members who are in the middle of that very difficult time. Thank you again, Dr. Konrad. I will recommend this book to people who are trying to get past the stigma, who are just learning about mental illness and how to provide the support that gets results.

--Nancy Meier

“You Need Help! “ by psychiatrist Mark S. Komrad, M.D. should be read by anyone concerned about a person in their lives who may be exhibiting changes in behavior, excessive or prolonged sadness or anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. Dr. Komrad's easy-to-read book is informed by his experience of more than two decades of medical practice, evaluating and treating people with mental illness. The book provides the steps anyone can follow, and addresses every possible obstacle in convincing the troubled person to see a mental health professional for an evaluation. 

His nationally syndicated call-in radio talk show about psychiatry, "Komrad on Call," enabled millions of listeners to better understand mental health issues and the steps to take to help others get the treatment they need, in the interest of improving and even saving lives, with proper diagnosis and treatment. Because of his nationally-recognized expertise, Dr. Komrad is a regular guest on topics in psychiatry and mental health on National Public Radio and on television, and is a sought-after psychiatric consultant to Hollywood film directors, to help them portray mental disorders & psychiatrists more accurately & ethically.

In the book, Dr. Komrad explains when it's time for a professional evaluation-- when our caring efforts aren't helping and the person we care about is clearly gettting worse. He guides us in lessening our hesitation to act, and he helps us to understand what mental illness is, and the reasons someone might be reluctant to get hHe guides us in finding the right mental health professional, and describes what happens in the initial professional evaluation.

He clarifies the best timing and environment for speaking with the ''troubled other'' about going for an evaluation, and what to do, from the most minor to the most coercive measures, if the person refuses. The involuntary evaluation of a mentally ill person and the reader's safety are also addressed. I feel that this section of the book should be mandatory reading for all trainees, fellows, and medical and other health sciences students & professionals, as psychiatrically ill people will more often see non-psychiatric health professionals in an emergency, or at other times, because of stigma. Dr. Komrad goes on to talk about how to be part of the support system and ongoing treatment plan for the individual who has been evaluated and diagnosed with mental illness.

The appendix is packed with many helpful resources; it should be in every professional's arsenal and in every "concerned other's" as well.

Dr. Komrad acknowledges the reader, most often a caring, concerned, courageous other, willing to take the frighening steps to help someone we care about. He makes the reader feel that we are not alone in in our fears & feelings. Throughout the book, Dr. Komrad provides many patient examples to help illustrate possible scenarios in which the reader may find him/herself in this process.

Having founded the campus-wide University of Louisville Student Mental Health Section of the health services, directed the health sciences mental health services, and maintained a small university-affiliated private practice, I have helped thousands of significant others & patients through these steps. Dr. Komrad puts it all together in one easy-to-read book that is packed with many helpful suggestions and resources, which is easily accessible to everyone.

As Rosalynn Carter so wisely states in her foreword, "Helping someone to get a proper assessment by meeting with a mental health professional is vital..."

This is the achieved goal of Dr. Komrad's excellent and clearly written manual to improve and save lives. My recommendation: make it mandatory reading for everyone involved in healthcare, education, government, police, and other professionals; have the book visibly displayed in all school and public libraries and professionals' offices. It should be translated into multiple languages as our worlds become more diverse. I give it my whole-hearted endorsement.

Leah Dickstein M.D.

former Vice-President of the American Psychiatric Association

President of the American Women’s Medical Association

Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine

I just recommended the book  today to another person who reached out to me about her sister who has bipolar and has been difficult to get help. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book.

--Jennifer Marshall

Wife/Mom/Writer/Blogger, bipolarmomlife.com

This book holds the keys to saving the life of a person in the midst of a mental health crisis.

I wish it had been around for my husband and parents in 2005 when they were faced with helping me navigate my way through two manic episodes followed by an entire year of debilitating depression. Even after receiving a formal diagnosis and some success with psychiatric treatment, a few years later I suffered two relapses and again this book would have been invaluable to my support system as I made my way back to recovery.

My family members and several close friends were an instrumental component to my treatment and recovery path. I can only imagine how much faster I’d have been able to overcome my severe depression and suicidal thoughts if they would have been armed with Dr. Komrad’s book, specifically Chapter 10 on How to Continue Your Support, which describes how the concerned party can assist in the treatment of their loved one through contact with the doctor.

I am so glad Dr. Komrad wrote this life-saving book. Since creating my theater show and non-profit, numerous individuals have approached me to ask if I had any advice on how they can help a loved one recover from mental illness. Now I have an excellent resource to recommend. You Need Help! is the ideal starting point when seeking guidance on how to get a mental health evaluation for a friend or family member who is struggling, where to go to find effective treatment, and how to be a critical part of that person’s long-term recovery from mental illness.

Jennifer Marshall, author of the blog BipolarMomLife.com

Founder & Executive Director

This Is My Brave, Inc.