An opportunity to participate in a New York Times Magazine and book project by author Daniel Bergner.

Daniel Bergner, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of five books of nonfiction and a novel, is working on a project about how our society conceptualizes and treats mental illness. Mr. Bergner is looking for people willing to be interviewed about their experiences living with mental illness. Please see below for further details.

If you are interested in participating in this project, contact Mr. Bergner by phone at 917-523-2591 or by email at

About the author: Daniel Bergner is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of five books of nonfiction, including “Sing for Your Life”, a New York Times bestseller, as well as a novel, “Moments of Favor”. See his web site,, for more information on his writing.

Project Overview: This project will result in a book published by HarperCollins and a New York Times Magazine long story. The book will interweave personal stories of people with mental illness with information on medical research. It will discuss the limitations of the biomedical approach in understanding and treating mental illness, but it is not intended primarily to advocate for any particular approach. Mr. Bergner characterizes his approach as “Illumination over advocacy”. The overall theme is “Where do we go from here?” in terms of our society’s approach to mental illness.

Participant profile: Mr. Bergner would welcome conversations with anyone who wishes to participate, though he is especially interested in talking to those who have decided not to take medication or who are steering away from medications.

Confidentiality: Mr. Bergner will maintain confidentiality for all participants, with written agreements if requested. Once the book is written, he will read passages to participants and go point-by-point to make sure the participant has no objections to what was written, though he will not turn over the actual pages to participants as that would cause ethical issues with editorial control. He will not use anyone’s real name or identifying details without permission.

Interview format: Mr. Bergner can conduct interviews via Zoom, Skype, telephone, or other methods convenient to the participant, including meeting in person if desired (with social distancing).

Timeline: Mr. Bergner would like to have conversations with those who are interested as soon as possible. He hopes to start writing the book at the end of this summer (2020).

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