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Our names are: Dr. Carlin Barnes and Dr. Marketa Wills.

Our book is called: Understanding Mental Illness: A Comprehensive Guide to Mental Health Disorders for Family and Friends.

Our backgrounds before becoming author were:

Dr. Carlin Barnes: We are both practicing psychiatrists who also have extensive experience in the managed care setting. I head up a boutique private practice, where I follow children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Wills sees patients in the university student health setting. I’m originally from Hillside, New Jersey, currently reside in Houston, Texas and am the proud mother of one son. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Wills currently resides outside Tampa, Florida. 

We were inspired to write it when:

Dr. Marketa Wills: We met eight years ago while working at the same company. We were inspired to write our book when we engaged in an organic conversation following a long day at the office. In that discussion, we learned that we are both passionate mental health advocates who share a vision of improving people’s mental health. We decided that writing a book about mental illness would be an impactful way to increase mental health awareness and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. 

It's about:

DCB: The book is a primer for the masses that really serves to explain common mental health disorders that impact every day Americans in everyday language. The guide is largely organized by diagnostic category and includes clinical vignettes to help bring some of the clinical concepts to life for the reader. 

The most unexpected takeaway is:

DMW: That our book has touched so many lives in meaningful ways. Many people have shared their personal stories of how our book has provided information that has helped them (or a loved one) lead healthier and fuller lives by addressing their mental health.

It’s a game changer because:

DCB: It breaks down stereotypes and arms readers with knowledge.  Knowledge is power and this book will help stop the stigma against mental illness, thereby widening access to care for those who deserve it.  

Our hope is that readers will:

DMW: Gain a deeper understanding of mental illness and thereby live healthier lives.

Addressing mental health is so important right now, especially in this challenging time, because:

DCB: 30% of Americans are experiencing symptoms consistent with depression and/or anxiety connected to pandemic-related stressors and uncertainty. Our book gives readers the tools to effectively handle clinically significant mental health symptoms that may arise in themselves or their loved ones.

Our next book might be:

DMW: About a framework for national mental healthcare reform. 

One important tool for our own mental health during the last year has been:


DCB: Exercise and meditation.

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