Response to Looi et al. – Tilting at windmills: A giant quest

Patrick McGorry, Debra Rickwood, Alessandra Radovini, Paul Denborough, Sophie Adams, Amelia Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Australia has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redesign and invest in mental health care. Common purpose is crucial. Yet in the latest divisive instalment in ANZJP, Looi et al. (2019) characterise organisations like headspace as leviathans, which pose a threat to mental health care. They seek to draw a parallel with Captain Ahab’s obsession with the pursuit of the great whale in ‘Moby Dick’. However, a credible critique requires a clear perception of reality, and we argue that the classic novel ‘Don Quixote’ captures the extent of the authors’ failure to grasp the reality of Australian mental health care. Don Quixote famously mistook windmills for terrifying giants, launching an abortive attack which rebounded badly. His idealistic, yet ultimately shallow, intentions were discredited, rendered farcical by common reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-672
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


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