Connecticut State in Mental Health Denial

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The recent July 9th Ct. Mirror article, Children Stuck in Crisis, accomplishes the intended purpose of deceptively convincing the people of Connecticut that there’s a severe mental health services crisis in the state.

On the surface, the article’s author, Arielle Becker, provides a compelling scenario of the state’s youth failing to get the needed mental health care and forced to rely on emergency room services. The problem with the presentation is Becker’s failure to address a key piece of information in the reported mental-health-crisis-puzzle – the increased psychiatric drugging of Connecticut’s children.

The entire article focuses on the specific case of Peter, a 6 foot, 220 pound 13-year old, who apparently has been in the care of mental health professionals for many years of his young life. Peter is described as having “psychiatric issues and a developmental disorder that places him on the autism spectrum.”

Becker does not provide any details about Peter’s psychiatric history, including information such as when he first was diagnosed with a psychiatric mental disorder, the number of specific mental disorders he has been labeled with and, most importantly, which mind-altering psychiatric drugs he has been prescribed during his young life.

These are not unimportant questions, especially when one considers the known adverse reactions associated with most psychiatric drugs. For example, antidepressants carry the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Black box” warnings for increased risk of suicidality. Other known adverse reactions associated with antidepressants include aggressive and abnormal behavior, hallucinations, mania and psychosis.

Other psychiatric chemical “treatments” include anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs, which also carry such adverse reactions as hostility, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, restlessness and tremors.

Becker, in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mental health services crisis explains that “some mental health care providers link it to an increase in the number of children with mental health needs…others see a greater willingness to recognize problems because awareness of mental illness has grown.”

What obviously is missing from the list of reasons for the “crisis” is the increased prescribing of dangerous psychiatric drugs. In fact, the only mention of any psychiatric drug “treatment” comes at the end of the article when Becker finally reveals that Peter was seen by psychiatrists at the Institute of Living and “his medication was changed.” That’s it. Pathetically, that is the extent of the conversation about psychiatric drugging.

But the lack of important information doesn’t end there. Becker also does not provide any information about all the previous failed attempts to “fix” Connecticut’s broken mental health system. For example, in 2008, lawmakers attempted mental health fixes through the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental HealthConnecticut’s Mental Health and Transformation State Incentive Grant.”

This $13 million dollar “fix,” as explained by Project Director, Pat Rehmer, as “Transformation efforts and activities are broad based and far reaching as they have been implemented across multiple state agencies offering the state’s citizens an array of accessible services and supports that are culturally responsive, person and family-centered.”

Certainly sounds like this “fix” should have helped Peter but, alas, it is another costly, failed mental health Band aid. Not surprisingly, this “transformation” also did not address the ever-increasing use of psychiatric drugs for “treatment” of Connecticut’s children.

Is it any wonder, then, that the “crisis” not only exists, but is worsening? The people of Connecticut still are not getting accurate information, and it is these omissions that render this article irrelevant in the debate for increased mental health services.

Ignoring important information does not benefit those who are suffering, nor does it help those in a position to make the necessary, and deadly serious, changes that are needed.



Blackbox Suicide Warnings, ER Visits, Informed Consent, Legislative Hearings, Mass Shootings, mental health crisis, Psychiatric Drugs

Comments (2)

  • Side effects are relatively infrequent events that do, unfortunately, happen to some people using a drug. This article suggests that they are guaranteed to occur to most people.

    Take a look at the side effects of water:

    Read the back of the box or the package insert next time you take aspirin or Motrin for a headache. Or your toothpaste, for that matter.

    Think about how many people experience side effects from these common medications. Someone has somewhere, sure. But common? Hardly. Are side effects more common with psych meds? Most likely. But “more common” still doesn’t mean “common.”

    No, meds aren’t the answer to most psychiatric issues in children. But there are times they have a role, and outrageous fear mongering is more harmful in those cases in which meds can make a significant difference.

    • The dangerous issue here is exactly your point, that these deadly side effects of suicide and homicidal ideation don’t happen to every user, making it more difficult to control the deadly outcome. Less than 1% of the population uses the MEDWATCH reporting system that tracks adverse events.

      I am sure you would agree, if the psychiatry industry was caring and supportive of those who use their psychiatric drugs, they would handout a “MEDWATCH” form to each user and support releasing the toxicology reports of those who did have access to their products and services in the aftermath of mass murders and suicides.

      More Common or Common hardly gives comfort to those who don’t use psychiatric drugs and enter a school, cafe, or movie theatre and are killed by a consumer that selected psychiatric drugs and goes on a homicidal-suicide psychiatric drug induced rampage.

      Claims that psychiatric drugs make a significant difference in the marketplace is exactly why over 70+ million Americans are now on 1 or more mind altering psychiatric drugs. At the end of the day, the consumer has the right to decide what is in their best interest. However, for the State and Federal government to embrace mandated mental health screening and “shy” of force treatment as policy for the Country is outrageous.

      Fear mongering is failing to provide parents informed consent by claiming the only way to “treat” behavioral problems is by forcing them into the psychiatric industry and not allowing alternative treatments.

      Thank you again for your valuable input; it helps clarify the importance of informed consent and the right to refuse psychiatric products and services.

      I am sure that the family members of those lost to the deadly school shootings and to psychiatric drug induced suicide wished that the psychiatric drug user just drank water (your comparison) and sought help outside the field of psychiatry.

      Very good posting! Thank you.

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