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Atlantic to publish ‘Head First’, a wry exploration of the mind

12th March 2021

Atlantic Books is to publish Head First: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of Mind and Body by Alastair Santhouse, which chronicles the author’s many years treating patients and his exploration of the ways in which our minds exert a huge and underappreciated influence over public health.

Written with brutal honesty, deep compassion, and a wry sense of humour, Head First examines difficult cases that illuminate some of our most puzzling and controversial medical issues–from the tragedy of suicide, to the stigma surrounding obesity, to the mysteries of self-induced illness. Ultimately, he finds that our medical model has failed us by promoting specialisation and overlooking perhaps the single most important component of our health: our state of mind.

Santhouse is a consultant psychiatrist at both The Maudsley Hospital and Guy’s Hospital in London. He was vice-chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry between 2013 and 2017, and in 2016 served as president of the Psychiatry Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. His clinical work focuses on the intersection of physical and mental health.

Commenting on the acquisition, Publishing director for non-fiction Mike Harpley said:

“It’s clear from Head First that Alastair is not only a first-class clinician but a truly gifted and empathetic writer. Through his clinical case studies, he makes a convincing case that it’s impossible to separate physical and mental health. After you’ve read it, you won’t view your ordinary visit to the GP in the same light again.”

Head First: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of Mind and Body will be published in hardback, trade paperback, and e-book on 1st July.