Regardless of What NAMI Believes Inaccurate Information Harms Mentally Ill

May 7th, 2014 | Blog, Legislation Alerts

The author of the op-ed of May 6, 2014, “Mental health treatment is not perfect, but it can be life-saving,” still is disseminating false information about many things, including the cause of mental illnesses.

First, to be clear, in none of these op-ed exchanges has Ablechild ever suggested that anyone should not be entitled to seek treatment.   Quite the contrary.  But Ablechild believes that accurate information about the cause of mental illness is absolutely necessary for those who are suffering.  To continue to disseminate misinformation about the cause of mental illness is a disservice to those who are desperately looking to the medical and scientific community for help.

Again, specifically, the author states, “…there is ample evidence from many research facilities that conduct brain research that mental illness is a biological disease.”  Okay. Which mental illness has been proven to be a biological disease? Please, for the public’s sake, provide the verifiable, indisputable, scientific data for the mental illness that has a biological cause.

The author makes an inaccurate, blanket statement about “ample evidence,” yet fails to provide the supporting data for even one alleged mental disorder, leaving the reader to accept the inaccurate information on the author’s belief, and then places the burden of proof on the reader to do the confirming research.

This information is blatantly wrong. If there is “ample evidence from many research facilities that conduct brain research that mental illness is a biological disease,” then let’s have it. This should be easily documentable and, one would think, the author would be eager to provide such demonstrative, groundbreaking, data.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH, provides no definitive information about the cause of any mental disorder:

Depression: “Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.”

Bipolar Disorder: “Scientists are studying the possible causes of bipolar disorder. Most scientists agree that there is no single cause.”

ADHD: “Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD.”

Schizophrenia: “Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors.”

Despite the author’s obvious lack of information about what the nation’s top mental health experts have to say about the cause of any mental illness, the author further attempts to support her inaccurate statement by using the State of Connecticut’s mental health parity standard stating the “state law acknowledged many years ago when it instituted parity for mental health treatment that mental illness is biological in nature.”

Like NAMI, the Connecticut legislature may believe that “mental illness is biological in nature,” but there is no scientific/medical evidence to prove this. Ablechild challenges the state to provide the conclusive and scientifically verifiable evidence that mental illness – any mental illness – has a biological cause.

In fact, if NAMI is testifying before the state about this inaccurate information – that mental illness is a biological disease – then it is no wonder that the state would pass mental health parity.  But inaccurate information is inaccurate information regardless of who utters it.

As to the author’s assertion that NAMI is not funded by the pharmaceutical industry, there is ample evidence to the contrary. An October 2009 article in the New York Times titled “Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors,” reports that “a majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers…”

In fact, the New York Times obtained information from U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley, which revealed that between 2006-2008 NAMI received $23 million from drug makers and the executive director of NAMI, Michael Fitzpatrick, said “for at least the years of 07, 08 and 09, the percentage of money from pharma has been higher than we have wanted it to be.”

Ablechild reiterates that there is no definitive scientific data to support that any mental disorder has a biological cause.  False statements, like these made by the author, must be addressed because the public, especially those suffering from emotional and behavioral problems, deserve the truth in order to make informed decisions.

In the meantime, Ablechild wants to thank the Connecticut Mirror for allowing this important debate on mental health, and we urge the public to support federal legislation, H.R.4518  which actually protects parents and families from psychiatric abuses.

 

Let’s Look at Mental Health “Treatment” – Not Increase It

May 6th, 2014 | Blog

 This is in response to the op-ed by Lloyd I. Sederer, Md. A Defining Moment for Mental Health in AmericaDr. Sederer begins his mental health cheerleading piece with the mention of the massacre in Newtown, Ct., stating that “…too little has been done so far to make a difference for those whose fates lies ahead.”

This statement couldn’t be more wrong.  Since the Sandy Hook shooting, thirty-seven states have instituted some form of increased mental health services and, in Connecticut, increased mental health legislation was passed without public input and without even having a completed investigative report of the incident.

Lawmakers in Connecticut, and throughout the U.S., acted in typical crisis management mode and instituted increased mental health services without even knowing if the evidence from the shooting called for such measures.

The fact is the “investigation” of the Sandy Hook shooting does not provide one detail about the medical or mental health records for the last five years of Adam Lanza’s life.  Adam Lanza’s mental health records end in 2007, (five years prior to the shooting incident) after he experienced serious adverse reactions to two antidepressants while being treated at the Yale Child Study Center.

Worse still, Nancy Lanza made mental health professionals aware of both of the drug adverse reaction events and was labeled, by those treating her son, to be “non-compliant” because she refused to continue to subject her son to the harmful psychiatric drug “treatment.”

Mental health’s continued use of the Sandy Hook incident is unacceptable and irrelevant because there is no evidence to support that Adam Lanza was not receiving the best mental health money could buy.  If one uses the available mental health data for Adam Lanza, they would find that Lanza had been receiving mental health services and treatment since the age of six.

Dr. Sederer uses this op-ed to beg support for Congressman Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation (H.R.3717) which for all practical purposes is all about “screening” the children of America for early identification of mental illness.  Ooohh paahlease!

Let’s look at the facts. Nearly 79 million Americans are taking at least one psychiatric drug, including 41 million people taking antidepressants, which includes 7.5 million children between the ages of 6-17.  One in five American adults take at least one psychiatric drug and, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., with 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants being written in 2010.

Despite the fact that there are 22 international regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch system reveals that between 2004 and 2012, the federal drug agency received more than 14,000 reports on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects.

The problem with Dr. Sederer’s support of Representative Murphy’s mental health legislation is that it continues to sell the myth that psychiatric disorders are based in science/medicine and, therefore, can be effectively treated.  It just isn’t true. Psychiatric diagnosing is not based in science or medicine and it is completely subjective.

Because there is no evidence that any psychiatric disorder has a biological cause, and the pharmaceutical companies admit that they do not understand how the drugs used as “treatment” actually work in the brain, it seems that there’s a whole lot of mental health guessing going on.

Rather than continue to legislate increased mental health services, isn’t it time to seriously look at the data and start asking tough questions about the “treatment” the mental health industry is peddling?  And rather than support Rep. Murphy’s legislation to increase mental health services that clearly are not working, there is another bill pending in Congress that actually protects children, H.R. 4518 the Parental Protection Act.

 

 

Ablechild April 2014 Update

April 30th, 2014 | Blog, News Archive

“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 Dear Ablechild Members:

We’ve been busy and April proved to be a very rewarding month for Ablechild. We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to bring you up to speed on our efforts on your behalf.

We began the month with Ablechild, Co-founder, Sheila Matthews, attending the April 2nd Autism Awareness Day in Stamford, Ct., where Matthews was able to meet other like-minded people and gather support for Ablechild’s MedWatch System legislative language.

Matthews and New York Ablechild, Co-founder, Patricia Weathers, also attended the April 5th Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) “Rally at the Capitol,” in Hartford.  Matthews and Weathers manned a table to distribute information about Ablechild’s efforts to elicit support for the MedWatch System legislative language.

Continuing our push to gain support for the MedWatch System, Ablechild was invited to be a guest on two radio shows in April.  First, on April 10th, in response to the horrific stabbing incident in Pennsylvania, Ablechild’s Matthews was interviewed by national radio host, Jonathan Emord of “Truth Trials” radio, where Matthews discussed the possibility of psychiatric drugs being involved in the violent act and the need for MedWatch education via the non-profit’s legislative efforts.

Matthews also was a guest on the Mike DeRosa radio show in Connecticut, WWUH 91.3 FM on April 14th.  DeRosa and Matthews discussed the recent spate of school violence and again Matthews brought the issue full-circle by discussing the need for MedWatch education within the state and discussed in depth Ablechild’s legislative efforts to make this happen.

Throughout the month Ablechild published several articles related to mental health/drugging issues, including an op-ed requested by the distinguished mental health website madinamerica.com, titled Legislator’s Rush to Implement Increased Mental Health Services Based on No Data from Shooting at Sandy Hook. Ablechild also published New York’s “unsafe” ActState Child Advocate Still Investigating Sandy Hook Shooterand Ablechild Warns of Clinical Trial “offers” to Low-Income Families.  We hope all our members will click on each of these links and read this important information.

In our continuing efforts to get MedWatch education language inserted into legislation, on April 25th, Ablechild met with State Senator Markley and Representative Steinberg.  Both lawmakers were very supportive of Ablechild’s efforts and have offered their assistance with the legislative language when the new legislative session begins. Ablechild will work with both lawmakers over the Summer months to insure that we hit the ground running for the next legislative session.

Finally, Ablechild is so pleased to report that our annual fundraising event, the Spring Fling Raffle, was a huge success. We were pleased that so many of our friends and members attended the event at Venture Photography in Greenwich on April 24th.  And, we were even more gratified when the winner of the gift basket, George Papadopoulous, graciously “paid it forward,” donating the $300.00 Salon KIKLO beauty services gift to an Ablechild member.

While April was very busy and rewarding, we anticipate that May will be equally challenging. As always, we appreciate our Members continued support, which allows us to do the work on your behalf for you and your families. We always welcome your feedback and look forward to knowing your thoughts on issues of importance.

The Ablechild Team

 

 

 

Governor’s Newtown Panel Stymied by Lanza’s Missing Mental Health Records

January 6th, 2014 | Blog

Sandy Hook Advisory Committee Stymied by Lanza’s Missing
Mental Health Records

Say it isn’t so.  The Chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Committee, Scott Jackson, doesn’t have the medical/mental health records of Adam Lanza, which are necessary for his committee to make appropriate recommendations for changes to the State’s mental health system.

This is really old news to Ablechild.  Having spent nearly a year utilizing every legislative and legal avenue available to make public the toxicology, medical and mental health records of Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, Ablechild was stymied by State officials at every step.

Yes, Ablechild is empathetic to the difficulties Jackson is having obtaining this important information, which is key to making – or not making – changes to the State’s mental health system.

Interestingly, Jackson has hired a law firm to comb through the thousands of pages released by the State Police. What law firm and at what cost to Connecticut taxpayers?  It only took Ablechild three days to review the redundant and heavily redacted documents within the State Police Report.  Nevertheless, Jackson apparently has read enough of the report to start asking questions.

According to Jackson, “one of the things that we really talked about quite a bit was that we need to understand the story of Adam Lanza and Nancy Lanza and we really don’t have it.” In particular, Jackson said “in order to understand how we got to where he was from a treatment standpoint, they’re going to need a little bit more.”

“A little bit more?”  With all due respect, the Committee needs more than a “little bit” of information.  Other than providing a few psychiatric diagnoses, and the mention of one psychiatric drug prescribed to Lanza, there are no specifics provided about the shooter’s mental health treatment.

In fact, it’s fair to say that more is known about the mental health records that were destroyed by Lanza’s primary psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, than what mental health treatment Lanza received.  Worse still, the last five years of Lanza’s mental health services is nonexistent.

According to the data provided by both the State Attorney’s office and the State Police Report- literally thousands of pages – there is zero mention of any mental health services provided to Lanza after 2007. Why?

And, with what little information is provided, why are physician treatment “summaries” provided in the recently released State Police Report?  Wouldn’t the actual comments of those psychiatrists treating Lanza be of more help to the Committee than a detective’s summation?

Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist and member of the Committee, understands the importance of hearing directly from the “horse’s mouth.”  “It’s better,” said Schwartz, “than nothing to have these summaries, but these summaries are not by clinical people.”

Schwartz opines that it may be necessary to contact the shooter’s father, Peter Lanza, to obtain the necessary records.  Why?  Wouldn’t the investigative bodies already have requested and obtained these records?  If not, it seems odd that both investigations would conclude they were unable to find a motive for the attack without first having considered Lanza’s complete mental health treatment record.

Additionally, in May of 2013, Peter Lanza signed a PeterLanzaConsent PeterLanzaConsent form allowing the State Medical Examiner to make public his son’s toxicology report.  Why, then, has the full toxicology report been withheld?

Furthermore, it may serve the Advisory Committee members well to speak with Assistant Attorney General, Patrick B. Kwanashie, who explained during the Ablechild Freedom of Information hearing that the reason for withholding Lanza’s toxicology report was because it “would cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications.”

Sounds like Kwanashie has the inside track on Lanza’s mental health records.  But if that avenue fails to produce results, given that it was his idea to set up the Advisory Committee, perhaps Governor Malloy could pull some strings with his own agencies.

The bottom line is that without reviewing Lanza’s complete mental health record, there is no way the Advisory Committee can, or should, make any decisions about instituting changes to the State’s mental health services.

 

The Sandy Hook Investigation and the “YALE Folder.”

January 4th, 2014 | Blog

Since the mental health bombshell released last week by the Connecticut State Police that Adam Lanza’s psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, had destroyed Adam Lanza’s records, had sex with patients, and moved to New Zealand, additional questions about Lanza’s mental health treatment are surfacing.

Nancy Lanza had written an email to Dr. Fox on February 1, 2007, advising him that she wished Fox to “take the lead role” in treatment he would be receiving at the Yale Child Studies Center.

The State Police report reveals that the YALE Child Studies Center had evaluated and treated Lanza from October 2006-February 2007. Given that Lanza’s mental health records abruptly end in February of 2007- four months after beginning treatment with the Yale Child Studies Center- one has to wonder what happened.

More odd is that the treatment at Yale reportedly ended just six days after Nancy Lanza’s email to Fox, asking him to “take the lead.”

The last report from the Yale Child Studies Center in February 2007 was that Nancy Lanza had decided to discontinue the prescribed antidepressant, Celexa, as she believed Adam was experiencing an adverse reaction to the drug.

Is it possible that after more than ten years of seeking mental health assistance for Adam that Nancy Lanza decided to just stop, especially since by all accounts Lanza’s condition was getting worse, not better?

Other than prescribing mind-altering drugs, what other treatment did Lanza receive at the Yale Child Studies Center?  Was Lanza participating in a clinical study of some kind?

It’s difficult to know, as there simply is no information made available about Lanza’s mental health after his brief treatment at the Yale Child Studies Center.

Given Nancy Lanza’s documented devotion to obtaining mental health services for Adam, it seems bizarre that the State Police report fails to provide information about the last five years of mental health records.

In light of the article dated June 30, 2013 by The Hartford Currant, stating that the paper had access to Lanza’s medical records from birth to age 18, it becomes more curious that the official State Police report would fail to make these records public.

 

CT Hearing on FOI, Sandy Hook – October 9, 2013

October 10th, 2013 | Blog

FOI TASK FORCE USES VICTIMS TO AVIOD DISCLOSURE OF CRITICAL INFORMATION NEEDED TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC

The task force that met Wednesday night was created as part of a law that State legislators rushed through the Capitol to block the release of some records from the shootings.

This law was passed without public notice, or a public hearing. Citizens should be very concerned by this growing foreign style of government and the journalists who endorse it. It is not a law, if it doesn’t follow due process, and open hearings for the people to participate in the passing of that law. The Connecticut Post and other papers seem to validate this “task force” and gloss over the lack of authority and massive amounts of “conflicts of interest” the members of this task force hold.

According to the Connecticut Post article, Parents, others plead for privacy, the panel co-chairman, Don DesCesare, indicated that task force members would likely begin writing their final report in November. “He said that he believes they will have enough time to make recommendations for changes in state law, rather than simply giving approval to the law that is already on the state’s books. If it was our intent to second the legislature, we would not have all these meetings,” he said.

This obviously is an attempt by the State to backdraft their lack of public hearings, and public notice on the law they claim is on the books now.

Ablechild followed up with reporter on our concerns relating to the initial law that was passed without due process, we didn’t seem to get an argument there. However, when we asked why our testimony wasn’t a part of his article, we were told quite frankly that it was “to complicated” and all the task members had “blank faces” after we testified.

Honestly, requesting the toxicology and medical records of the school shooter doesn’t seem that complicated. We encouraged the reporter to read our FOIA docket case and educate himself.

It was so sad to see these victims used by the State of Connecticut so that the State can continue to avoid answering questions relating to their role in the psychiatric and drug treatment of Adam Lanza prior to his mass murders and suicide.

Of course, the public doesn’t want to put these families through any further hardship and neither do we. It is the State that uses them for emotional impact to pass unconstitutional laws. These laws do not serve the public but serve to protect special interest groups i.e. the drug companies and psychiatric industry that are donating to these bloated politicians filled with their own sense of importance.

Nothing the State will ever do with bring those children back to their parents. I believe the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy would be shocked to learn the role the State played in the path of Adam Lanza prior to that deadly day.

The fact that the Mayor of Bridgeport, Bill Finch, considers the first amendment right a “maturation” is obviously a statement we fully disagree with and most Americans would as well.

CDC’s Questionable Findings

May 17th, 2013 | Blog

Ablechild’s response to article in the Huffington Post, “Mental Disorders in Children: CDC Releases First-Ever Report”.

After reading the supplement report and an exhausting listing of subjective mental labels, their descriptions, and their definitions according to the industry that created them, studies them, and begs the government for funding of them; Ablechild found it stunning to see the doctor who penned the newly released “supplementary report”, Dr. Ruth Perou gives her opinion on the motives behind the CDC efforts.

“This is a deliberate effort by CDC to show mental health is a health issue. As with any health concern, the more attention we give to it, the better. It’s parents becoming aware of the facts and talking to a healthcare provider about how their child is learning, behaving, and playing with other kids,” Dr. Ruth Perou, the lead author of the study, told Reuters in an interview.

Really?  Ablechild takes issue with her statement and reminds her that the CDC’s mission is not to be the marketing arm for the psychiatric industry, but to collect data to reduce disease.  The CDC including “mental illnesses” into their data collection arena isn’t something Ablechild would normally agree with since the diagnostic process is subjective in nature and they are not diseases.  As you see from the entire introduction and report itself,  it blathers on about surveys and questionnaires, and we can all agree that diseases are not diagnosed by questionnaires and surveys.   Even the NIMH in April came out with a statement invalidating the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) symptom based model as being unscientific.  However, considering the CDC’s recent release of the skyrocketing numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD (up 53% in the past decade) we can surmise that this serves as an alarming warning of the dangers that this presents to our children’s health and safety.

Ablechild does support the NVDRS (which is completely ignored by Dr. Ruth Perou) which is a state-based surveillance system that links data from law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners, vital statistics, and crime laboratories to assist participating states in designing and implementing tailored prevention and intervention efforts. An incident-based, relational database collects and stores the data and is available free of charge from the NVDRS Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/NVDRS/About-NVDRS.htm#disclaimer .

Ablechild supports this new National Violence Data Reporting System.  This system has the potential to collect data of psychiatric drugs and their link to increased risk of suicide and violence among users.  This is evidence-based and the public needs to ensure that this system is not only set up to capture the data but is accurately maintained and supported by professionals.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/NVDRS/About-NVDRS.htm#disclaimer

Sound Deal on Teacher Evaluations in the State of New York?

February 19th, 2012 | Blog

In Response to Letter “A Sound Deal on Teacher Evaluations” The New York Times Editorial/Letters Friday, February 17, 2012

A shocking $700 million from the federal “race to the top education program” was given two years ago in exchange for a push for a teacher evaluation program in the State of New York. We are now told a deal has been struck between New York State and the teacher’s union, but more details need to be worked out to break the two year blockage. OMG!

Let’s keep it simple. If you ran a hotel or restaurant and were looking to improve your services and attract new clients, you would ask for feedback to evaluate your current services through an evaluation card or survey. The customer or client would be able to evaluate their experience and rate the service. It is done all the time without spending $700 million dollars.

The New York Governor indicates that he believes holding over the teachers union heads a 4% percent increase in the State education financing penalty combined with the threat of losing federal money will be enough to get the two sides to end the two year blockage? Wait a minute, didn’t the $700 million bribe do that? Parents should be alarmed at the notion of a $700 million dollars tax bill for yet another failed education program “race to the top” that has achieved nothing at the end of two years.

The New York Governor is typically endorsed by the teacher’s union. The union is holding off on that endorsement http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100813/FREE/100819910.
Can anyone spell M.O.N.O.P.O.L.Y? Who cares if the union endorses the Governor or not? Since when should we allow tax paid vendors, i.e. teacher’s union, to call all the shots and even pay off our politicians anyway with endorsements? If the unions serve the people with services, they shouldn’t be in the business of endorsing our lawmakers and gatekeepers that make decisions on their contracts. They should focus their attention on improving the quality of their services.

Things will only change when parents and children have a “mutiny on the bounty” and create a source website that gives other parents and children the heads up on bad quality teachers and bad programs. They are public teachers right? Why not make their reviews public? Send the $700 million dollar in federal money back. This will help us stop having to play class warfare to pay these endless Monopoly driven tax bills.

We should all be allowed to pass go and collect our $200. We are all sick and tired of landing on the luxury tax space. It is time to check the rules on the inside of the box. Let’s go rogue and create our own teacher evaluation program. I am sure it won’t cost $700 million dollars.

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