The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 (SB 2680) Would Be a Huge Step Backwards

Philip Hickey, PhD
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On July 6, HB 2646 (the Tim Murphy Bill) passed the US House and was sent to the Senate.

At the present time, a related bill is working its way through the Senate.  This is SB 2680, The Mental Health Reform Act 2016.  It is sponsored by Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), David Vitter (R-LA), and Al Franken (D-MN).  The wording of the bill was finalized in March of this year, and it passed out of committee on March 16.

There is a good measure of bi-partisan support for this bill in the Senate, and if it makes it to the floor it could pass.  If that were to happen, it would likely be reconciled with the Tim Murphy House resolution, and a reconciled version would be enacted.

SB 2680 purports to provide desperately needed help to suffering Americans but is in reality a thinly-disguised tool to expand the scope of psychiatric “care”, with all the drugging, death, damage, and destruction that this entails.

On March 16, 2016, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions issued a press release titled:  The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 will help Americans suffering from mental health and substance use disorders.  Here are some quotes, interspersed with my comments and observations.

“The Senate health committee today passed legislation to help address the country’s mental health crisis and help ensure Americans suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders receive the care they need.”

Note the term “mental health crisis.”  There is indeed a crisis in the mental health business.  The crisis derives from psychiatry’s spurious and self-serving premise that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses that are correctable by psychiatric drugs.  This false premise, avidly promoted by pharma, is the cornerstone of the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry, and is the primary reason that psychiatric drug use in America has reached epidemic proportions.

The fact that these so-called illnesses are so vaguely defined makes it easy for pharma-psychiatry to rope in new recruits.  But the maw of greed can never be satisfied, and pharma-psychiatry continues to lobby for more.  Every undrugged person is money down the drain!

For decades, psychiatry has been inventing new “illnesses” and liberalizing the criteria for others, and it is clear that their objective in all this is to make their so-called mental illnesses as prevalent as the common cold:  everyone gets one from time to time, and psychiatry has “safe and effective treatments”.  There’s no need to suffer – just take a pill or a high-voltage electric shock to the brain.  And keep coming back!

Back to the press release:

“‘One in five adults in this country suffers from a mental illness, and nearly 60 percent aren’t receiving the treatment they need,’ said Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).”

It is a logical and mathematical axiom that one can’t quantify what one can’t define.  But even if we set aside the inanity of these oft-touted statistics, it is clear that vast numbers of Americans who could get a “diagnosis” and a prescription for pills at their local mental health center, choose, wisely, I suggest, not to avail themselves of this “service”.  To Senators Alexander, Murray, Cassidy, Murphy, Vitter, and Franken, however, all of whom, incidentally, have received campaign money from the pharmaceuticals/health products industry, this is a national tragedy – a crisis, no less, that has to be corrected through legislative action.

“‘This bill will help address this crisis by ensuring our federal programs and policies incorporate proven, scientific approaches to improve care for patients.'”

“Proven, scientific approach” means more pharma-funded psychiatric research, with ever more opportunities for over-stated conclusions and even out-and-out fraud.

Senator Murray points out that the bill, if enacted, “…would help expand access to quality care, and make sure that patients receive coordinated mental and physical health care.”

Note again the emphasis on expanding care.  Also note the promotion of co-ordination with physical (i.e. real) medicine; read:  a mental health liaison worker in every GP’s office.  The APA has been pushing this idea for years.  The idea is that one goes to see one’s GP for a bad cough, is “screened” for mental health issues, and comes away with an antibiotic for the cough and an antidepressant for some vague psychosocial concerns.

The press release continues in the same vein.  All the old chestnuts are there, e.g.:

“This bill is an important step in the road to recovery for the 44 million Americans who suffer from a serious mental illness.”

“…our broken mental health care system…”

“…we allow those with mental illness to fall through the cracks.”

“…families struggling to get a loved one the help they need.”

“…prevent suicide…”

“…provide mental health awareness for teachers and others…”

“…evidence-based approaches…”

etc.

Discussion

SB 2680 is littered with platitudes, and for this reason, there is a danger that many of its provisions might be seen as benign, and even desirable.

For instance, the bill calls for the identification of

“…strategic priorities, goals, and measurable objectives for mental and substance use disorder activities and programs operated and supported by the Administration, including priorities to prevent or eliminate the burden of mental illness and substance use disorders;”

and

“…to improve services for individuals with a mental or substance use disorder…”

and

“…ensure that programs provide, as appropriate, access to effective and evidence-based prevention, diagnosis, intervention, treatment, and recovery services…”

etc.

All of these proposals seem positive and helpful, but the bill is solidly rooted in psychiatry’s spurious medical model.  Psychiatric concepts and language permeate the text.  The term “mental illness” is routinely used as if it had the same ontological significance as real illness.

To convey the general tone and thrust of the bill, here’s the full text of Sec 502, which pertains to child psychiatry:

SEC. 502. TELEHEALTH CHILD PSYCHIATRY ACCESS GRANTS.

(a) In General.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”), acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and in coordination with other relevant Federal agencies, may award grants through existing health programs that promote mental or child health, including programs under section 330I, 330K, or 330L of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254c-14, 254c-16, 254c-18), to States, political subdivisions of States, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations (for purposes of this section, as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)) to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by—”

Translation:  The Federal Government may award grants to promote the embedding of psychiatric concepts and practices into pediatric primary care by:

“(1) supporting the development of statewide or regional child psychiatry access programs; and

 (2) supporting the improvement of existing statewide or regional child psychiatry access programs

(b) Program Requirements.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible for funding under subsection (a), a child psychiatry access program shall—

(A) be a statewide or regional network of pediatric mental health teams that provide support to pediatric primary care sites as an integrated team;

(B) support and further develop organized State or regional networks of child and adolescent psychiatrists to provide consultative support to pediatric primary care sites;”

Note:  “networks” of psychiatrists advising and supporting pediatricians!  What kind of advice do you think these networks of psychiatrists will provide?

“(C) conduct an assessment of critical behavioral consultation needs among pediatric providers and such providers’ preferred mechanisms for receiving consultation and training and technical assistance;

(D) develop an online database and communication mechanisms, including telehealth, to facilitate consultation support to pediatric practices;

(E) provide rapid statewide or regional clinical telephone consultations when requested between the pediatric mental health teams and pediatric primary care providers;

(F) conduct training and provide technical assistance to pediatric primary care providers to support the early identification, diagnosis, treatment, and referral of children with behavioral health conditions and co-occurring intellectual and other developmental disabilities;”

What kind of training do you think these access programs will be providing to pediatricians?  Facile “diagnostic” checklists?  Treatment guidelines that recommend neuroleptic drugs for 3-year-olds who display temper tantrums?  The thinly-hidden agenda here is to erode whatever resistance remains among pediatricians to psychiatric orthodoxy, and bring them on board the great psychiatric drugging bonanza.

“(G) inform and assist pediatric providers in accessing child psychiatry consultations and in scheduling and conducting technical assistance;

(H) assist with referrals to specialty care and community and behavioral health resources; and

(I) establish mechanisms for measuring and monitoring increased access to child and adolescent psychiatric services by pediatric primary care providers and expanded capacity of pediatric primary care providers to identify, treat, and refer children with mental health problems.”

In other words, the Feds will be checking to make sure that they’re getting value for their money in the form of more children drugged.

“(2) PEDIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH TEAMS.—In this subsection, the term “pediatric mental health team” means a team of case coordinators, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and a licensed clinical mental health professional, such as a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor. Such a team may be regionally based.

(c) Applications.—A State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, or tribal organization that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a plan for the comprehensive evaluation and the performance and outcome evaluation described in subsection (d).

(d) Evaluation.—A State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, or tribal organization that receives a grant under this section shall prepare and submit an evaluation to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require, including a comprehensive evaluation of activities carried out with funds received through such grant and a performance and outcome evaluation of such activities.

(e) Access To Broadband.—In administering grants under this section, the Secretary may coordinate with other agencies to ensure that funding opportunities are available to support access to reliable, high-speed Internet for providers.

(f) Matching Requirement.—The Secretary may not award a grant under this section unless the State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, or tribal organization involved agrees, with respect to the costs to be incurred by the State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, or tribal organization in carrying out the purpose described in this section, to make available non-Federal contributions (in cash or in kind) toward such costs in an amount that is not less than 20 percent of Federal funds provided in the grant.

The meaning and intent of Sec 502 is absolutely clear:  if this legislation passes, Congress is going to pour money and resources into providing more psychiatric care to children.

And how do psychiatrists provide care for children?  They drug them.

The Empire is Fighting Back

In the past ten years or so, opposition to psychiatry’s medicalization of virtually every human problem has been growing.  As the venerable and prestigious psychiatric leader Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, has lamented on more than one occasion, psychiatry is the only medical speciality that has its own anti group.  And of course, as we all know, there are very good reasons for this.

We also know that American psychiatry as a whole has been extraordinarily unreceptive to any kind of criticism.  Indeed, their response has been to double down – to assert with increasing vigor that their concepts are sound, their research valid, and their practices helpful and benign.

They have also hired a renowned PR firm and have been lobbying hard in political circles.  SB 2680 and the Tim Murphy House bill are the result of these endeavors.

This is the hidden face of psychiatry, using the legal machinery to push its pernicious concepts and practices deeper and deeper into the lives and institutions of the American people, with increasingly disastrous results.

Incidentally, the sponsors of SB 2680 received the following sums of money from the pharmaceutical/health products industry during the current election cycle (source: OpenSecrets.org):

            Lamar Alexander        $452,548

            Patty Murray               $542,778

            Bill Cassidy                  $234,502

            Chris Murphy              $121,876

            Al Franken                  $131,088

            David Vitter                   $7,850

If you live in the US, please ask your Senators to oppose SB 2680.  Tell them that we don’t need any more psychiatric drugging, particularly of our children!

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60 COMMENTS

  1. I am just curious how much this is going to cost the tax payer. Wow.

    I am not going to go into how stupid I think this bill is, I’d be here all night. Yes, lets use a medical model that has proven that it isn’t working and expand it’s use and mostly to a part of the population that can’t speak for itself.

  2. Philip Hickey, I appreciate your very well written and informative article.

    Mostly, I like the fact that you are not engaging in the fallacy of promoting Psychotherapy and Recovery, as the alternative to Psychiatry and Medication. You aren’t doing anything like that.

    Reading the quotes you offer in your article, it becomes ever more clear that this Murphy bill does promote the idea of “mental illness”, the idea that people “need help”, and that people need “Recovery”.

    You show us that what has driven our supposed “mental health crisis” is, “… psychiatry’s spurious and self-serving premise that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses that are correctable by psychiatric drugs.”

    And I’m sure you understand that what so much of this also revolves around is the creation of an untouchable caste, family scapegoats, who never will be in a position to manage their own affairs, but who will be run by public health care for the bulk of their lives. This is driven in part by the progressive gutting of our economy, and of the public services designed to mitigate it.

    And I offer as an example of where this family scapegoating goes, the suicide of Evangelical and Recovery Movement leader Rick Warren’s son Matthew.
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/rick-warren-first-class-creep-t351.html

    So do you agree with me that we must reject pity seeking, and instead mount a strident opposition to Murphy, the entire Mental Health System, and to Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and the concept of Recovery? And this might include, besides refusal of all cooperation and flushing meds down toilets, actions to get Psychiatrists criminally prosecuted, to put some Psychotherapists our of business, and legal and political actions to protect all children and to vindicate adult survivors of childhood familial abuses.

    Nomadic

    look for my latest posts here, and please join:
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/free-expression-f2.html

  3. Thank Heaven (and Phil Hickey) for this article! Maybe people will finally start to understand that we have TWO “Murphy” bills to contend with, and that they both suck out loud. There are provisions to do “early interventions” on 3 year olds, possibly younger, yo.

    The excruciatingly tedious and boring nature of dissecting what legislation means prevents most people from understanding exactly how sinister these “mental health reform” bills are, and why stopping them should be the united priority of everyone who respects the general mission of MIA.

    Astounding as it may (and should) seem, a number of individuals and at least one “consumer advocacy” group which has presented itself on MIA as “anti-Murphy” are in fact telling people to support the “Senate Murphy” bill as being “less toxic” than the “House Murphy” — seemingly meaning that it doesn’t include “Assisted Outpatient Treatment” (forced drugging). However I am saddened by my belief that many of these “mental health reform” people who support “Murphy II” (which might be considered the “Hillary” version) may be mainly concerned about their federal SAMHSA grants being rescinded under the House version (HR 4626) — something the Senate version leaves alone. So to hell with the 3 year olds. (I will be happy to be proven wrong.)

    I propose here and would like to see some visible support — so that people who are speaking in our names can see — for a position that psychiatric survivors and our allies stand opposed to BOTH HR 4626 AND S 2680 in their entirety.

    I believe if we have a unified position it’s still very possible to defeat these horrific bills, if not by outright vote then by keeping them stalled till they die before coming to a vote. Those who want to continue this discussion after this blog disappears can come to the Organizing Forum at any time.

    And thanks again to Phil, who has opened up this issue up for discussion at a crucial time.

    “… from a marketing perspective, it may be necessary to capitalize on the fear of violence to get the law passed.” — D.J. Jaffee

  4. The integration of physical and mental health is downright Orwellian. The way I see it, anyone judged to be mentally defective will simply be denied health care. Eugenics in action.

    I have no faith in this congress to do anything that isn’t in favor of more Empire, more oppression. This is a country that has gone fascist, and it’s going to get a lot worse from here. I don’t expect to survive long enough to see the end of it, unless the shit really hits the fan.

    • Ain’t it somethin’ how they slip that in — the language about erasing those inconvenient differentiations between physical (i.e. real) health and “mental health”? (E.g., at the risk of being repetitive, soon you may be going to your dr. for a cold and coming back with a script for Xanax.) They’re real proud of this too.

      It would seem that sizeable number of people who get strung out on psych drugs by their PCPs as a result of this “breaking down of barriers” may comprise the next class of people who gravitate to the anti-psychiatry movement — not because of ideology but of necessity.

      (Thanks to “Better Life” for some initial insight regarding the use of language in S2680.)

    • “… anyone judged to be mentally defective will simply be denied health care. Eugenics in action.” This already happened, at least to my family. I wasn’t able to get private health insurance for either myself, nor my children, for years after my husband died because of the misdiagnosis / stigmatization on my medical records. But staying away from doctors was what did eventually cure me, so that worked out okay.

      And it does appear that the “Empire” obsessed seem to be the “delusions of grandeur” filled in our society. Perhaps the psychiatrists should be going after them, rather than trying to tranquilize and torture all the US children?

  5. Thank you! The emphasis on “psychiatric” (aka drugging) interventions is heavily emphasized in these bills. Why not emphasize psychosocial supports, including psychotherapy and parenting education, as first-line interventions rather than medication? Where is emphasis on trauma-informed and attachment-informed therapy and assessment, which ARE research-based and evidence-based? All legitimate clinicians who keep up with the research know that developmental trauma and attachment insecurity are causes of emotional/behavioral problems rather than “diseases” of the brain. Please oppose both of these bills.

    • “Why not emphasize psychosocial supports, including psychotherapy and parenting education, as first-line interventions rather than medication?” I agree, but would also emphasize the importance of nutrition and avoidance of environmental provocation. Parenting and nurture matter a great deal; always have and always will. But physical factors do cause psychiatric symptoms and avoiding healing modalities that take this into account (e.g., nutrients, diet, gut health) do not serve the interests of patients/families… No good healing option should be left off the table.

      • Psychiatry is a drug racket and a pseudoscience, in the same way that phrenology was a pseudoscience. I’d suggest the elimination of such logical absurdities as “psychiatric symptoms”. What you’re labeling as “psych symptoms” are nothing more than EXCUSES to $ELL DRUG$….
        All so-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as real as presents from Santa Claus.
        So-called “mental illnesses” are bogus and fabricated.
        Besides this semantic objection, I’m with you 100%….

  6. The drafters of this bill’s idea of prevention seems to be a matter of labeling and drugging children, and I just don’t see how labeling and drugging children is not going to result in more labeled and drugged adults. This is bad legislation, and supporting it as an alternative to the house bill doesn’t, to my way thinking, make a lot of sense. Both bills are clunkers. and hopefully, both can be effectively quashed.

  7. Stop the drug war with objective of shutting down the black market. The drug war has failed. The drug war is driving the problems, not fixing them. Decriminalization/legalization is necessary, it needs to be backed up with public health announcements explaining exactly why it is needed. Its not in any way condoning the abuse of addictors, it is done bc the alternative, the drug war, has made things infinitely worse on almost every level, to include making drugs abundantly available to any & all that wants them.
    We need to pull LE out of the drug biz – that will free up a lot of resources currently chasing their collective tails. When the laws create more harm and cause more damage than they prevent, its time to change the laws. The $1 TRILLION so-called war on drugs is a massive big government failure – on nearly every single level. Its way past time to put the cartels & black market drug dealers out of business. Mass incarceration has failed. We cant even keep drugs out of a contained & controlled environment like prison.
    We need the science of addiction causation to guide prevention, treatment, recovery & public policies. Otherwise, things will inexorably just continue to worsen & no progress will be made. Addiction causation research has continued to show that some people (suffering with addiction) have a “hypo-active endogenous opioid/reward system.” This is the (real) brain disease, making addiction a symptom, not a disease itself. One disease, one pathology. Policy must be made reflecting addiction(s) as a health issue.
    The war on drugs is an apotheosis of the largest & longest war failure in history. It actually exposes our children to more harm & risk and does not protect them whatsoever. In all actuality, the war on drugs is nothing more than an international projection of a domestic psychosis. It is not the “great child protection act,” its actually the complete opposite.
    The lesson is clear: Drug laws do not stop people from harming themselves, but they do cause addicts to commit crimes and harm others. We need a new approach that decriminalizes the disease. We must protect society from the collateral damage of addiction and stop waging war on ourselves. We need common sense harm reduction approaches desperately. MAT (medication assisted treatment) and HAT (heroin assisted treatment) must be available options. Of course, MJ should not be a sched drug at all.
    Every human being is precious, worthy of love and belonging, and deserves opportunities to fulfill his or her potential regardless of past trauma, mental and emotional anguish, addictive behaviors or mistakes made.

  8. I am surprised that Al Franken of Minnesota is listed as a supporter. I would think he would be amenable to a counter argument.

    Now having said that, Minnesota is home to some of the worst Recovery Movement forums in the country. If you join one of those, and you don’t go along with the “working on myself, getting better every day, never ever would talk a self-affirming action” doctrine, then you are gone.

    But on the whole I don’t think that is representative of the state, or especially of Franken.

    They just passed the Minnesota Child Victims Act.
    http://sol-reform.com/minnesota/
    follow link to read text and description.

    Once people are shown that all this is about is just familial child abuse, then they will see right away that the mental health system should be eradicated, flushed down the toilet with all the medications.

    And also they need to see that we the survivors, are not going to be herded, but that we will fight back.

    Right now, with Therapy and Recovery, we are being herded.

    Nomadic

  9. I’m encouraged that so far all commenters agree that both bills should be opposed. I hope future commenters, no matter what their angle, will continue to also express here their opposition to both “Murphys.” And, if they want to take it to the next level, to actually contact their Senators.

    To review what’s going on in Congress:

    — HR 4626 is the “original” Murphy bill which includes “Assisted Outpatient Treatment.” It has passed the House and is awaiting a vote by the Senate. This is a different bill than the one Dr. Hickey writes about here.

    — S 2680, the subject of this blog, is a separate but related bill introduced directly in the Senate

    If one bill passes, they will try to “reconcile” the House version (with AOT) with the Senate version (without AOT). However there’s also an effort by Jaffee to amend the Senate bill to include AOT.

    What should you tell your Senators? I would say ask them to reject both bills outright, and if they won’t do this to reject any version of any bill which includes AOT. People can add their personal concerns as well. But remember — the true reason for these bills is for politicians to convince their constituents they are doing something about violence, so any lengthy arguments about what’s best for the psychiatrized will in most cases fall upon deaf ears and rolling eyes.

    “… from a marketing perspective, it may be necessary to capitalize on the fear of violence to get the law passed.” — D.J. Jaffee

    • This should resonate with liberals especially: Tell your senators that the Scandinavians and other European countries (other than Great Britain) are decades ahead of us, and that both bills are being pushed on naïve congresspeople by a small group of backwards-looking anti-humanist psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists, who do not represent current progressive thinking.

      Tell them how Jeff Lieberman, former APA president, who testified in support of at least one of these bills, tried to convince the UN to change its proposed definition of inhumane treatment of the disabled, because it encompassed what American psychiatrists do to mental hospital inmates every day.

      He also tried to get the NYPD to resume the use of the demeaning and sometimes lethal “hog-tie” after the first black NYPD Commissioner banned it. Lieberman’s letter to the New York Times even included a race-based jab at the Commissioner.

      Make it personal, and it might resonate. Tell them about Lieberman’s cruel studies, which Robert Whitaker publicized in his award-winning Boston Globe series. (Check the details, please!) Giving Ritalin (speed) to first-episode psychosis in-patients, one of whom was fourteen, just to see how much worse it would make them? How much more miserable and terrified, in other words.

      That’s who thinks Tim Murphy’s bill is a great piece of legislation.

      Tell them that imprisoning people who are very distressed, searching their persons, taking away their belongs, and forcing risky, outdated drugs like Haldol into them is no way to end violence. It IS violence, and it is a national shame. Drugs are not more humane than physical restraints: they are equally odious; they just happen to be invisible. They fix nothing. They cure nothing. They can only suppress behavior and they do it at tremendous cost.

      Tell them: the FEDERAL GOV SPENDS $130B ON “MENTAL HEALTH” EVERY YEAR, AND SUICIDE IS UP 25% SINCE 1999! Don’t use all caps, though.

      Here is a meme of Senator Murphy puzzling over that fact. http://pasteboard.co/aGYXJIx9N.jpg

      NIMH alone has an annual budget of $1.5 billion. I’s 13-year director, Tom Insel, finally quit, admitting that nothing had been accomplished. He blamed the lack of advanced technology. Oh PLEASE. Ask them to name ONE breakthrough in psychiatry that has occurred in their life time. One biomarker, just one, that proves a certain person has a “mental disorder” as opposed to just being terribly upset, for far too long, over terribly messed up circumstances, quite often a nasty home life they can’t escape for financial reasons.

      You can see for yourself how mangled the NIMH is when you search the site using a google trip. Paste this into a browser instead of going to
      https://www.google.com
      to search, paste this in:

      site:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/ self-esteem
      site:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/ obesity
      site:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/ HIV
      site:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/ cruelty

      Here are how many hits you will get, in order:
      36 for self-esteem
      109 for obesity
      1690 for HIV (there are all of 30,000 new infections per year)
      0 for cruelty

      That’s right folks. I write my own jokes. That’s not a joke, though. That’s as exhaustive a search as you can do of a site’s publicly accessible pages, and it proves that NIMH has no concern whatsoever for those harmed by cruelty, and no interest in learning how to prevent it.

      Psychiatry will get nowhere if those bills pass, no matter how they are combined. I hope some of my thoughts give readers some ideas about what to say to their senators. You can do it. Go to senate.gov to get their contact information. Real letters are better than email, but don’t let lack of a stamp stop you. Email today, and send the letter tomorrow. (Or call.)

    • Oldhead,

      I think it might also be worth pointing out to Senators that there is a good deal of prima facie evidence linking psychiatric drugs to the mass murders/suicides, e.g., the GermanWings plane crash, the Aurora theater shooting, the Washington Navy yard shooting, Columbine High School shootings, etc.

  10. A ray of hope — after this week the Senate is off till Nov. 14. If they don’t schedule a vote by Friday that means we have about 6 weeks to organize a coherent response to the Murphy problem. Are there still people who want to take advantage of this time (if we get it) to do some serious strategizing and propagandizing?

    • This is exactly where I thought the matter was leading. I’m not sure they will even be on it in 6 weeks time. We will have a new president to contend with in January, and if that president is Hillary, as I think it will be, it will mean that as well as these bills, if they are going anywhere then, we will have to deal with Hillary Clinton’s mental health package, and that is going to mean many things that are very problematic as well.

      • The original Murphy bill, HR 4626, was rushed through by the House by surprise when no one was looking by announcing a vote just before the July 4 holiday, using a clause meant to expedite “non-controversial” legislation. So we can’t rest on our laurels because we know they’re sneaky. Apparently even the relatively minimal active opposition which has been generated so far has been enough to help forestall a vote being scheduled over the past month, which is what Jaffee etc. have been pushing for (we know because we read their Facebook posts). So we need to keep up the pressure.

        Btw “Hillary’s ‘mental health’ package” is essentially the same as S 2680 as described in this blog:
        https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/08/clinton-releases-mental-health-plan/

  11. “All of these proposals seem positive and helpful, but the bill is solidly rooted in psychiatry’s spurious medical model. Psychiatric concepts and language permeate the text. The term “mental illness” is routinely used as if it had the same ontological significance as real illness.”

    The reason to oppose Murphy’s bills is because of its deference to psychiatry, which will mean more drugging and more coercion. And psychiatric practice (malpractice, really) does manufacture mental illness when normal human responses and traits are pathologized and drugged. But that does not mean that there is no such thing as mental illness, or psychiatric disturbance, and arguing along those lines will not advance the goals of psychiatric reform. Also, one aspect of these bills would narrow the HIPPA privacy loophole to allow families/caregivers to receive, or at minimum, convey information. Under current law, a parent is unable to impart relevant, life-saving information to medical professionals treating a hospitalized child (e.g., allergy to penicillin). That’s crazy.

    • Medical necessities aside, the issue is being able to trade people’s psych records back and forth between insurance companies, networks of physicians, etc. which furthers what they call “stigma.”

      However, it is not necessary to have an anti-psychiatry, anti-“mental health” perspective to see the reasons for opposing the Murphys.

  12. “While mental health experts now generally agree that the label “borderline personality disorder” is very misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.”…. <–cut-n-pasted from the NIMH website, linked to by Dr. Hickey. Let's look at that. When NIMH says a word, or term "does not exist yet", that means either it hasn't been created, invented, or discovered. Are so called "mental illnesses" and "disorders" created, invented, or discovered? Think about it…. Keep thinking…. Keep thinking….
    So-called "mental illnesses" are imaginary excuses to sell drugs, and bill insurance….
    They are CREATED, (usually by abuse/neglect), or else INVENTED (for profit).
    Just as psych drugs are created and invented. Psych drugs are NOT *discovered*.
    BOTH Murphy Bills = Medical Fascism.
    My God, what have we become?

  13. As a way of opposing all of the Murphy bills, how about if we offer our own bill? Of course we will need to have members of the legislature, the House of Representatives, because it will be some kind of a spending bill, introduce it. But to get that we first have to come up with the basic ideas of the bill.

    The bill probably would rescind the more problematic components of all of the versions of the Murphy bills. But more importantly, it advances a completely different interpretation of the issues. So if people accept our view, then they won’t likely be supporting any of the Murphy bills, or anything else like that.

    Now some have offered pro-mental health / recovery / therapy anti-Murphy talking points. That’s the way of Uncle Tom. I am completely opposed to that.

    Others have suggested developing anti-mental health anti-Murphy talking points. I support that fully. But how about going a step further, actually offering a counter plan. So it is not just a different philosophy, it is an actual plan that people can sign on to.

    Remember that SCOTUS has decided that we cannot retroactively extend criminal SOLs, but we can retroactively extend civil SOLs.

    Now some of this probably is already covered under existing law, but it just hasn’t been interpreted or enforced this way. Even before there is new legislation, we should start trying to enforce existing law this way.

    FAMILIAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION ACT

    1. Parents or other caretakers are 100% financially liable for any acts taken for the purpose of harming or otherwise psychologically injuring or incapacitating any minor child in their care. And there is no time limit or maximum dollar amount on this, and it cannot be discharged by state or federal bankruptcy. Equal share inheritance is required by law. Money can no longer be given to outside parties or distributed unequally, as that power now resides with the heirs, not the testators.

    2. The giving of medications to a child purely for the intent of altering their mood, perception of reality, or mental state, is a mid level felony.

    3. There can never be any type of forced psychological or psychiatric treatment for anyone, and no one is ever allowed to keep any records of psychological or psychiatric treatment of anyone, and this includes, but it not limited to the military, criminal justice system, and the prison system.

    4. Any kind of a doctor, therapist, worker at a youth center, or clergy, who works with a child who is showing the signs of emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or medical abuse must report this within 48 hours to CPS and law enforcement, or they are guilty of a first level felony, enhanced by a mandatory arrest requirement.

    5. Funds must be provided for CPS and law enforcement to be able to handle this case load.

    6. There are to be funds which must be used for every place with 15k population or more to have a 24hr per day youth drop in center, where counselors will be available at all times to talk with them and to solve problems. And of course the counselors are subject to mandatory reporting, and at no time can a child be returned to a dangerous environment. Likewise there will be money for telephone hot lines to report and discuss suspected cases of medical, emotional, psychological, or physical or sexual abuse. And youth are encouraged to call this if at any time they find themselves face to face with a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, developmental disorders, or family relations counselor. That is, there has to be some outside oversight to protect the well being of the child, whenever such practitioners are brought into play.

    People have any other ideas?

    Right now the Good Family people, with their collective denial system, control most of the wealth and assets of our society, most of the high wage employment, and most of the institutions of higher learning. While we who are the Survivors of the Middle-Class Family are told that we need therapy, healing, and recovery. So what we really need to do is to organize and start fighting back.

    Psychological distress is not caused by any moral or medical problem, and we do not need healing, we need victories and vindication.

    Psychological distress is caused by being without power and by having power unfairly used against us. Any talk about therapy, healing, and recovery are just more abuse, Second Rape.

    http://davidsmail.info/introfra.htm

    We also should be setting up our own foster care group homes, which will in many ways resemble Israeli Kibbutzes.

    We Must Employ All Available Means To Stop Saddleback founder Rick Warren’s Mental Health and Recovery ministries!
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/rick-warren-first-class-creep-t351.html

    Nomadic

    • Others have suggested developing anti-mental health anti-Murphy talking points.

      Nomadic, you should know this is more than a suggestion — our anti-AOT talking points have been completed for some time now and can be found here:

      https://www.madinamerica.com/forums/topic/we-need-our-own-murphy-talking-points/page/16/#post-81632

      We don’t need to be introducing bills into congress, the system will do us no favors. However we can use easy enough tactics to help keep these bills off our backs, i.e. call your senators and make your opposition clear.

      The only bill I can imagine introducing would be one prohibiting state funds from financing or supporting any sort of psychiatric involvement in people’s lives, especially involuntarily.

      What I’m still having big issues with at the moment though is this new MIA slogan “A Community to Remake Mental Health.” That is so medical model, so offensive to so many people who have been victimized in the name of an illusory “mental health,” and a major step backwards for MIA. I really hope it wasn’t done with the idea of getting grants from liberal foundations. At any rate I think it needs to at least revert back to “Science, Psychiatry and Community,” as I gag every time I sign in at the moment.

      • Thanks for pointing out the “slogan” change. Now we’ve got a confusion of terms. Where’s the ‘science’ in that? I’m not sure medical model is the right word to use. I like the idea of creating a community. I just have a lot of trepidation about re-doing anything connected with the “mental health” system. I feel we should be de-doing everything about it instead. Is the presumption that “mental health” has been “unmade” and, therefor, we must “remake” it? I don’t really think doctors right now have much incentive, much less interest, in diagnosing good health. It being something that would necessitate a career change for the psychiatrist, as well as for the patient/consumer. Health doesn’t pay, not when you are in the “illness treatment” business, however ill health is a very lucrative proposition, especially when such “illness” and “health” have assume metaphysical dimensions.

        • Is the presumption that “mental health” has been “unmade” and, therefor, we must “remake” it?

          That’s as good a place to start as any. The last thing any of us should want to do is remake something that has been nothing but destructive since its inception. I definitely call anything invoking”mental health” or “mental illness” medical model, I think we’ve had plenty of discussions in the forum about how it makes no sense to reject “mental illness” and accept “mental health”; they’re both figures of speech that are used to confuse and oppress. And I think whoever is responsible for this should realize how many MIA regulars would feel about this, and wonder if I should consider it a deliberate slap in the face. Who said there was a need for a new slogan and, pray tell, why this one? How about “transcending ‘mental health'” if it must change?

          Anyway, glad this bothers someone besides me; hopefully others will notice and object as well.

    • Nomadic: I have to comment. I’ve seen & read your comments for a while now, and even gone to your website, so I do understand and respect where you’re coming from. We agree on far more points than not…. But, I have to call you out on your views on courts and “CPS”. (Here in my State, it’s not “CPS”, it’s “DCYF” – “Div.Children,Youth&Families” – same thing. So here’s my (anecdotal) rebuttal: There’s a phrase, or meme, going around: “Judicial Kidnapping”. I was involved in a case with a disabled mother and (mildly) disabled daughter. DCYF so MANGLED that case. A DCYF worker even later lost her job over her bad acts…. The judge destroyed this woman’s family in a way that did NOT need to happen. The 8yr.old girl was taken by the State, and further abused WORSE than her home/mother. (Due to Mom’s disability, mom needed some help, but was overall an excellent, loving mother. So, your faith in CPS/DCYF and judges/courts, is vastly wrong.
      There are some States where children of disabled, alcoholics, druggies, single mothers, etc., are *TARGETTED* for removal by the State because of the HUGE financial incentive from the FedGov.
      Children are routinely removed from otherwise loving homes, when that’s NOT necessary! The WHOLE system is BROKEN, and judges and CPS/DCYF are part of the problem, NOT the solution. You’ve maybe heard of “CASA volunteers”? (CASA= Court Appointed Special Advocates) Well, if the system was functional, CASA volunteers would be redundant and un-needed. **”Moral problems OFTEN lead to behaviors which result in “psychological distress”. I’ve said something like this before here: Your unique point of view often leads you to form and hold ideas and opinions that I can NOT agree with. But keep posting anyway! Too many actions taken by the system result in further harm to vulnerable children and families…. *THAT* needs to be looked at far more clearly.
      I believe that your perspective is too narrow, and skewed. But keep your ideas on the table! ~thnx, ~B./

  14. Oldhead, your anti-Murphy talking points will probably be heard in some circles. I still cannot fully go along with them though. Just to get people to oppose Murphy, maybe. But to deal with the broader issues which underlie the fallacy of mental illness, no.


    Studies have demonstrated for decades that those labeled “mentally ill” have a lower incidence of violent behavior than the public at large.

    Still sounds like you are trying to apologize for, maybe not the mentally ill, but for those labeled as “mentally ill”. I still cannot completely go along with that. It still amounts to asking for pity.

    No, the system probably is not going to do us any favors. But that is all the more reason not to be apologizing for those labeled as “mentally ill”. So an alternative bill is primarily rhetorical, to get people to think about things in a different way.

    You wrote,

    The only bill I can imagine introducing would be one prohibiting state funds from financing or supporting any sort of psychiatric involvement in people’s lives, especially involuntarily.

    The alternative bill I am suggesting largely does that. Most of the mental health system would be neutralized, no records, no forced treatment, most all dealings with children would be under the supervision of the court, as it is a suspected case of familial child abuse, and the parents are to be held fully accountable. The court is the only entity which has authority over the parents. So the court is the only way to penalize the parents, or stop any and all forms of “therapy” if the court deems that necessary.

    “A Community to Remake Mental Health”
    Of course I am 100% opposed to anything like that. Thank you for pointing it out to me. I have no idea who is actually running this, or what drives them.

    Psychiatric medications are wrong, not because they are not effective, but because they are at least a little bit effective. They are intended to be a surer and cheaper way of doing the same thing to people which psychotherapy does, making people dissociate from their own lived experience. People are supposed to believe that they do not have to fight to redress the injustices which have shaped their lives, and they do not need to restore their social and civil legitimacy. Instead, both psychotherapy and psychiatric medications are designed to make people believe that they can just live in the limited social space left, and just believe that nothing is wrong. These medications are happy pills.

    Does anyone know of more radical forums, ones where people plan how to take legal and political action to vindicate and compensate the survivors of child abuse and the mental health system, instead of conning people with therapy, recovery, and healing?

    Please Join, Organize, Take Legal Action, Take Political Action, not therapy, recovery, or healing:
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/tangible-results-t357.html

    Nomadic

    • They are not “my” points and you diss a number of other people who worked hard on these when you portray the as such.

      And if you were paying attention you would know that yes, they are specifically meant to address “Assisted Outpatient Treatment,” I don’t know why you would think otherwise.

      Regarding your specific complaint about the one anti-AOT talking point you mention, no one’s apologizing for anything. It’s a simple fact that those who are labeled “mentally ill” — because, yes, one can ONLY be labeled “mentally ill,” one cannot be “mentally ill” (even if you prefer to identify as such) — have historically been acknowledged to be statistically less dangerous than the public at large.

      • Well then I would suggest that they are less violent because of the cumulative effects of all the harm that has been inflicted upon them.

        If you subjected someone else to the sorts of denigrations that those labeled mentally ill are subjected to, I don’t think they would remain non-violent for very long.

        I mean your talking about people who have been denigrated, humiliated, and shamed in the middle-class family. They have been designated as “The Problem”, and usually as someone who should not even exist.

        Then they have been acted upon by talk therapists. And the worst of the worst of the talk therapists are those assigned to the poor, and especially the people on the suicide and crisis lines.

        So these therapists try to continue what the middle-class family did, convince the person that they themselves are the problem, simply because they don’t accept things the way they are and because they are not compliant.

        Then as it is cheaper and gives more reliable results, they put them on medications. These have the same self-alienating effects as talk therapy.

        And so their chance at ever developing what in our society amounts to adult life, is neutralized, and so they are de-sexualized too.

        So you tell me that sometimes some of them still have enough self-preservation instinct left to get violent?

        Well if you keep jabbing at a cornered animal with a stick for long enough, what would you expect to happen?

        My only regret about any of this is just that we have not been yet to able to organize the survivors of the middle-class family and of psychotherapy and psychiatry, so that we can start talking political actions which are more effective.

        Where is there a more radical form, and a more radical movement, where people actually are trying to make large scale political, legal, and social changes, rather than just begging for pity?

        Help Stop Rick Warren, and Please Join:
        http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/rick-warren-first-class-creep-t351.html

        Nomadic

  15. Al Franken should be right at home with ‘mental health care’ after writing a book titled “Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them”.

    One problem I see Dr Hickey is that people don’t think their children will be effected by this type of legislation, …… until it’s too late.

      • It’s a good point Nomadic. Especially in an arena when collusion and conspiring against family members by those seeking to ‘help’ can have disastrous consequences. A recent example ‘muddied’ by our Courts with suppression orders to maximize the use of illicit drugs by a killer, and removal of the mental health ‘intervention’ and prescribing of anti psychotics before the killing really says a lot to me.

        Dr Hickey I came across this webpage containing information about a drug called Donezepil. On that page it says,

        “Donepezil is used to treat confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer’s disease. It does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to function. This medication is an enzyme blocker that works by restoring the balance of natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.”

        are they really still running with chemically balancing brains?

        I post this question here as I can’t see what happened to the Forums.

        Thanks Doc.

          • Dr. Hickey:
            Just today, I read a very cleverly written piece of pro-drug propaganda on HuffPo. HuffPo seems to have become the go-to source for PhRMA/psychiatric LIES, distortions, and, well, propaganda….
            The author *hinted* at being a Dr., and used first an extended anecdote about a diabetic, then twisted THAT into supporting another anecdote about somebody who had REAL “mental illness”, – saying how the insulin pump surgically installed on the abdomen, was exactly analogous to the “chemical imbalance in the brain”, that the DRUGS were “helping to re-balance”, or some such subtle, but ridiculous nonsense….. A hoax can’t be killed while the hoaxsters are still active…. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, Dr. Hickey!

  16. Good news people — Friday has passed without s2680 being scheduled for a vote. Congress is on vacation now till Nov. 14. I think we should prepare for a mass call-in to the Senate shortly after that date — just like NAMI does. I know that they and the TAC elements were hoping to have this done in September, so I think we should count this as a minor victory. Remember, the idea is to prevent Murphy I & II from coming to a vote as long as possible so we can continue to educate and organize people to oppose them.

    Also congrats to Phil again — I just googled S 2680 and this article comes up second (after the gov.track site entry for S2680). And third, as it’s also being reprinted elsewhere. So good job all around!

  17. But then we still need to be ready for whatever the new President wants to do.

    And then I still think people should be more afraid of this than anything else on the horizon:
    http://hope4mentalhealth.com/

    Are Anti-Psychiatry people pressing for a ban on all forced treatments ( psychiatric assaults ), one which does not also endorse Therapy, Recovery, and Healing or otherwise ask for pity?

    And are people protesting at places where forced treatment of adults occurs?

    What percentage of these psychiatric attacks on adults are actually forced, and in what circumstances are they occurring.

    I know they have temporary psychiatric holds. Are people protesting against this? Lawsuits?

    Nomadic

  18. BREAKING: A NIGHTMARE BILL INCLUDING AOT IS ABOUT TO BE VOTED ON AND PASSED THIS WEEK

    Here’s the text: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20161128/CPRT-114-HPRT-RU00-SAHR34.pdf

    Here’s Murphy’s self-congratulations:

    ““This is a landmark moment. The federal government’s course in addressing mental health and illness in America is being fundamentally changed. Congress has finally come together in a bipartisan effort to bring serious mental illness out of the shadows. Now federal agencies will be moving from feel-good programs for behavioral wellness to ones that emphasize evidence-based care for those at highest risk and those with symptoms of serious mental illness. We’ve achieved long-sought reforms by creating an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use to elevate, integrate and coordinate programs; investing in services for the most difficult to treat cases; expanding the mental health workforce, and so much more.“It couldn’t be more fitting that we’ve reached this bipartisan agreement between the House and Senate at the close of Thanksgiving week.”

    GO TO THE ORGANIZING FORUM TO DISCUSS & STRATEGIZE