Tag: Murphy Bill
As a former practicing clinical psychologist, I find Congressman and psychologist Tim Murphy's actions deplorable, a disgrace to the profession, a violation of the ethical principles that guide psychologists in their duties, and an attempt to use his credentials as a psychologist to manipulate the public and Congress to believe obviously false statements. As a result of becoming increasingly concerned about Congressman Tim Murphy's false, public statements conflating mental illness with violence, I contacted the Pennsylvania Psychology Licensing Board and formally requested the implementation of a State ethics investigation of Representative Tim Murphy, Ph.D. I invite you to do the same by emailing the PA board at [email protected]
David Shern, from Johns Hopkins University, writes that the latest mental health “Murphy bill” in Congress is “an expansion of the approaches that got us into our current difficulties.” “Early intervention and prevention, assessable and patient-focused services with a rehabilitation orientation and increased funding for the community supports needed for successful recovery are the tickets to system improvement.”
On November 4, the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee marked up an amended version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (H.R. 2646), introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). However, the bill still does not reflect the voices or meet the needs of millions of Americans with lived experience of mental health conditions because the E&C Health Subcommittee failed to incorporate our recommendations.
Dennis Embry, a clinical psychologist and government consultant on mental health, shares a letter he sent to congressman Murphy warning him about how he may have been misled concerning his mental health bill. “I am specifically writing you about erroneous, false information you’ve been given about the National Registry of Evidence Base Programs and Practices. That erroneous information is likely to cause serious problems, which have been withheld from you.”
I felt a chill go through my body when I read that the FDA has agreed to review for possible approval in early 2016 a new form of the drug Abilify that contains a microchip sensor capable of sending a message that indicates the exact time a tablet dissolves in the stomach. The message is recorded by a skin patch - along with data such as the person’s body angle and activity patterns - and, according to a press release from Proteus Digital Health, the developer of the device, “this information is recorded and relayed to patients on a mobile phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device, and only with their consent, to their physician and/or their caregivers.”
Oryx Cohen at TruthOut explains why the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646) - commonly known as the 'Murphy Bill' - appears to cater more closely to the desires of pharmaceutical companies than to the actual needs of people in psychological distress, perhaps because of Murphy's connections to key lobbyists." "If the Murphy Bill is passed, psychiatric hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will reap huge financial benefits as a result of increased hospitalization and forced treatment."
I’ve come to realize that the very good intentions of Congressman Murphy to fix an obviously not-working mental health prevention, intervention, and treatment “system” has caused him to be swarmed by a flock of flatterers flogging fraudulent “facts.” Thus, at the behest of my colleague, I wrote a letter to Congressman Murphy, who is obviously a leader for issues of mental health. My letter was delivered to him personally, and I share much of it here. The more I thought about the pickle the Congressman is in—surrounded by people either flattering him or yelling at him—the more compassion I have for him as a human trying thread his way through the siren songs.
For those of us who have been labeled by medical model psychiatry, it is frightening to watch the wolf of social prejudice being cloaked in the guise of mental health reform. The reality for many of us is that our lives and well-being have been profoundly affected – not only by the bad science and good marketing of pharmaceutical companies - but also by a wholesale refusal to listen. The result is a mental health system that many of us do not trust to operate in good faith. The Murphy bills add fuel to this fire.
Dear Reader, I am reaching out to you in the hope that you will get this message in time to act! Even if you only have time to read the first two sentences of this blog, please click here for instructions on how you can win the hearts and minds of our federal legislators and help them understand why HR 2646 – proposed by Rep. Tim Murphy and called the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act – is a bad bill
As I look back on the civil rights movement and all that my ancestors marched for, I sometimes feel as if the civil rights movement has been a dream deferred. We have come far but still have a long road ahead. The intersection of civil rights, poverty and the psychiatric survivors movement has played out now for four generations. Now the psychiatric movement faces its biggest hurdle. We are asking our allies, representatives and members of our community to stand up. We urge you not to endorse the Murphy Bill.
One of psychiatry's most obvious vulnerabilities is the fact that various so-called antidepressant drugs induce homicidal and suicidal feelings and actions in some people, especially late adolescents and young adults. This fact is not in dispute, but psychiatry routinely downplays the risk, and insists that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks of actual violence that might exist.
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut released a new ‘Murphy Bill’ this past week. It’s called the ‘Mental Health Reform Act of 2015,’ though it has yet to be assigned an official number. While many words appear in its more than 100 pages, it’s worth noting that the term ‘evidence’ (most often paired with ‘based’ to form the familiar and supposedly scientific phrase, ‘evidence-based’) appears 27 times. Never to be outdone, the almost 200-page House version (‘Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis,’ H.R. 2646) from Representative Tim Murphy uses the same word 38 times. This makes sense. Why wouldn’t anyone want anything to do with… well… just about anything…
On August 4, 2015, Senator Bill Cassidy, M. D. (R-LA), on behalf of himself and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), announced the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 (S. 1945). The Cassidy bill has now been referred to the Senate, read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. According to the Library of Congress, S. 1945’s purpose is “to make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.”
Representative Murphy has released the second version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). Few can argue that the mental health system and the current approach towards helping individuals and families in crisis are abysmal. H.R. 2646 is an effort to create increased service provisions and to enhance interventions that many professionals, family members and service users alike believe to be effective. When people are desperate and suffering they do not wish to be told "Sorry, there's nothing we can do." And so, it is understandable and even laudable that so many support the proposals laid out in H.R. 2646. But the bill is based on distorted and faulty logic that misrepresents the research and evidence base. This is highly disconcerting. And so a collective of mental health professionals, mental health advocates, and persons with lived experience came together to produce the following documents in response to H.R. 2646.
Recently, the Murphy Bill in the United States Congress has resurfaced as a tangible threat to the civil liberties of individuals labelled "seriously mentally ill." As many others might relate, my reaction was one of rage, sadness, and utter bafflement. Yet, here we are. Having defeated the bill once, it is back like herpes. After my frustration and anger dissipated a bit, I pondered this and was hit with a "duh" moment. Politics is not about facts; politics is about power, money, and playing on the emotions of society.
Coercion — the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance — is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling, and parenting, but it isn’t to less “civilized” societies. Coercion fuels miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we today call mental illness. Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, in Schizophrenia and Civilization, states “Schizophrenia appears to be a disease of civilization.” But Torrey is a strong advocate for coercive treatments, including forced medication — even though his own research shows a stronger relationship between severe mental illness and European-American civilization than with hypothesized biochemical agents that have never been found. Still, he has he not considered the toxic effects of coercion.
12Page 2 of 2