Mental health is nota simple topic on which to offer advice, so this guide sensibly sticks to the straight-and-narrow of information dispersal, skirting controversial stances. The authors explain the differences between psychiatrists and psychologists, for example, and run through the various kinds of clinics and outpatient-treatment facilities available (private, university, training institute, hospitals, community health centers, etc.). The price for remaining rather noncommittal, however, is often blandness and unhelpfulness. In a true psychiatric emergency (violence, say) we are pretty much left with calling the police; on such controversial topics as electroconvulsive shock therapy in the treatment of severe depression, we are both cautioned and reassured. (""The American Psychiatric Association maintains it is both sale and effective, and the tendency toward using it too much has been reversed."") The authors offer some sensible advice on choosing an individual therapist (don't just go by degrees, but ask questions about method, too); charting typical costs for psychotherapy; delineating the different schools of therapy from Freud onward, and so forth. They also pay some special attention to the mental health difficulties of children, and consider alcoholism and other substance abuse (as well as the interaction of alcohol with psychoactive drugs taken for depression and other disorders). In sum, than: reasonable enough as a general introduction to everyday issues--but no more.