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$400 Million in New Mental Health Services, But Still No Accountability

The full-court press is on for increasing mental health services for children in the state, with a price tag of $400 million, so far. Given that there is zero science to support any psychiatric diagnosis being an actual brain abnormality, one can only surmise that mental illness will skyrocket and the $400 million is a drop in the bucket of the actual costs.  This time around will there be any real accountability?

As has become the norm, the Sandy Hook shooting incident is invoked in order to justify the massive increases, despite the public having no documentation to support that Adam Lanza was not receiving, or that he even needed, mental health treatment in the five years leading up to the shooting. To date, no documentation has been made public that would suggest Lanza was, or was not, receiving mental health treatment beyond the brief and unsuccessful stint at the Yale Child Study Center in 2007.

To assume that the children of Connecticut need increased mental health treatment and services, because of what occurred at Sandy Hook, simply is not supported by factual documentation. In fact, because no information about Lanza’s mental health, after 2007, has been made public, why isn’t it just as likely to assume he was receiving the best mental health services money could buy?

More interesting, though, is the fact that the enormous increase in mental health spending does little, to nothing, to provide any accountability of where and how the money will be spent. As far as AbleChild is aware, there is no legislative language that will make any data readily available to taxpayers interested in following the hefty mental health expenditures.

Is it of interest to the taxpayers whether there is a large increase in the number of children being diagnosed with a subjective psychiatric diagnosis? Is it of interest how many of the children newly diagnosed are then prescribed dangerous, even deadly, psychiatric drugs as “treatment?” Furthermore, without some kind of data collection system, how will the state actually know if the funding is going toward the intended purpose?

The state is not known for its willingness to make important information publically available, as is evident in the clamp-down on any specific mental health data relating to Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza. Even when language is written into legislation, mandating data be publically accessible, there is no follow-through.

For example, Public Act 06-196* became effective in June of 2006. The Act mandated that the Department of Children and Families shall, within available resources and with the assistance of the University of Connecticut Health Center:

  • Establish guidelines for the use and management of psychotropic medications with children and youths in the care of the Department of Children and Families.
  • Establish and maintain a database to track the use of psychotropic medications with children and youths committed to the care of the Department of Children and Families.

To date, AbleChild is unaware of any database that would readily provide the information subject to the Act. Why? The public should not have to spend hours, or days, hunting through every state agency to obtain this important information… or whether the database even exists. And this Act has been around for nearly a decade.

Based on what clearly is a failure on the part of state agencies to track this information, what makes taxpayers believe there will be a “better” accounting of the $400 million allocated for new mental health services?

After all, by anyone’s measure, $400 million is a lot of money. Certainly the public deserves some accounting of how the money is spent. Along with all the hype associated with the new mental health services programs, will lawmakers act responsibly and institute a program that will actually track the numbers of children being diagnosed and drugged? And, more importantly, will that information be made publically available on a yearly basis?

Don’t count on it. The state is great at telling the taxpayer what mental health services are needed, but it has a pathetic track record when it comes to accounting for the hundreds-of-millions spent on mental health services.

* Public Act 04-238

An Act Concerning Child Poverty and the Use of Psychotropic Medications with Children and Youth in State Care

Sec. 17a-21a. Guidelines for use and management of psychotropic medications. Database established. The Department of Children and Families shall, within available resources and with the assistance of The University of Connecticut Health Center, (1) establish guidelines for the use and management of psychotropic medications with children and youths in the care of the Department of Children and Families, and (2) establish and maintain a database to track the use of psychotropic medications with children and youths committed to the care of the Department of Children and Families.

(P.A. 04-238, S. 2; P.A. 06-196, S. 112.)

History: P.A. 06-196 made technical changes, effective June 7, 2006.

 

 

 

 

What’s Really Behind the Increased Violence in Connecticut?

Look at Psychiatric Drugs, Not Subjective Mental Illness Labels.

AbleChild is fascinated by the “logic” behind New Canaan Police Department’s recent flip-flop regarding firearm permits based on mental health records.

The entire debacle initially was sold as a public safety issue with New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski arguing that there was grave concern about “gun violence that has occurred in our state as a direct result of individuals that are mentally ill possessing firearms.” Krolikowski reported that he did not have access to the Department of Health & Addiction Services database and, therefore, could not issue temporary state permits.

Within a day of that announcement, Krolikowski reversed his stand when he reported that, unbeknownst to him, police actually do have access to an applicant’s mental health history through the state police department.

What is of interest, though, is Krolikowski’s remarks about the gun violence that has occurred in the state as a result of the mentally ill possessing firearms. Krolikowski did not provide specific information about the number of mentally ill possessing firearms or, for that matter, what mental illnesses were involved.

Is Krolikowski referring to the Sandy Hook Shooting and Adam Lanza? If so, no permits for the firearms used at the Sandy Hook shooting were issued to Adam Lanza. Additionally, neither of Adam Lanza’s mental health issues would have precluded him from obtaining a firearm permit. Adding insult to injury, the State of Connecticut has refused to make public Lanza’s mental health records. Worse still, Lanza’s psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, destroyed his records without any repercussion. Simply put, there is no way for law enforcement (or anyone) to know whether Lanza had some unknown mental illness that would have precluded his obtaining a permit.

While AbleChild supports any effort to protect public safety, it seems there are other actions that could be taken by Connecticut’s law enforcement personnel that may prove more effective in understanding what actually may be behind the increased violence in the state. For example, rather than collect information about an applicant’s mental illness label, law enforcement may find it more advantageous to collect data about the “treatment” being prescribed.

There is overwhelming evidence that psychiatric drugs, prescribed to “treat” mental illness, cause violent behavior. In fact there are twenty-two international drug regulatory warnings that cite psychiatric drugs causing violent behavior, including mania, hostility, violence, aggression and homicidal/suicidal ideation.

Between 2004 and 2012, there were nearly 15,000 reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects, including more than fifteen hundred cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania and more than eight thousand cases of aggression.

Furthermore, according to a 2011 study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, published in the journal PloS One, and based on data provided by the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting System, 31 drugs were linked to reports of violent behavior. Nine of these were psychiatric drugs prescribed to “treat” mental illness, including the antidepressants prestig, Effexor, Luvox, Strattera, Paxil, Prozac and Chantix; Amphetamines used to treat ADHD; and the benzodiazepine, Halcion.

As the mental health industry most often prescribes psychiatric drugs for the “big four” “mental disorders,” which include depression, ADHD, bi-polar and schizophrenia, it would appear that having information about what is being prescribed is far more important than the psychiatric label.

Many states in the nation collect psychiatric drug data upon arrest and, if transferred to the county jail, processing must include this data, as the suspect will be provided the medication while awaiting trial. This data would provide a larger picture of those who are committing violent crime while being treated with a psychiatric drug and also would provide detail about which drugs are most implicated.

Denying Constitutional rights based on subjective psychiatric labels, which are not based in medicine or science, does little to protect public safety. One need only look at recent actions taken by the Russian government to restrict those with “gender identity disorders, disorders of sexual preference and psychological and behavioral disorders associated with sexual development and orientation” from driving in the country to see that restricting basic rights based on subjective psychiatric labeling is a slippery slope.

In the case of Connecticut, today, restrictions are imposed on those who have been labeled with a subjective mental illness and voluntarily or involuntarily committed. The question is whose rights will be restricted tomorrow?   If law enforcement is really interested in what is causing the increase in violent crime, Ablechild believes that information can easily be obtained by looking at psychiatric drugs taken by those committing the crimes.

Local Newspapers in Conflict with OCA’s Report on Adam Lanza

What are the odds that Adam Lanza could be so racked with anxiety and, effectively, be so emotionally and behaviorally paralyzed, that he also could academically match the best in his class? Information provided by the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) and the newspaper, The Newtown Bee, present very conflicting data about Adam Lanza’s academic abilities.

Let’s start with that odd year when Adam Lanza should have been in the eighth grade. Recall that the OCA reports that after his seventh grade year at the Catholic School, “He did not return to school, public or private, in eighth grade.”

Additionally, the OCA explains “the psychiatrist responded with a faxed note that AL was “medically/emotionally unavailable to be tested (CMT).” “According to the psychiatrist, AL could not and was not receiving home-bound or hospital-based tutoring and he was not attending school at all.” (Pg.43)

Okay, so according to the OCA, Adam Lanza was not attending school for the entirety of the eighth grade. This is curious. If Adam Lanza did not attend school for the entire eighth grade, how did he make the Honor Roll at Newtown Middle School for three semesters of the eighth grade? According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza is listed on the eighth grade Honor Roll list for 03/03/2006, 5/11/2006 and 7/20/2006. And it gets even more absurd.

Although Adam Lanza did not participate in any schooling in the eighth grade, (but still made the eighth grade Honor Roll for three semesters) Lanza is allowed to enter the ninth grade at Newtown High School. In the ninth grade, the IEP “Team” wrote “requires removal of the student from the regular education environment because AL requires more intensive service than provided for in a general education classroom.” “However, the services offered were essentially 10 hours of academic tutoring.” (Pg. 61) Despite Lanza’s inability to attend school, according to the Newstimes, published on May 5, 2007 (the Spring of Adam’s ninth grade year) Adam Lanza made the Honor Roll.

According to the OCA, Adam Lanza is so paralyzed by his emotional and behavioral disabilities by the 10th grade that “school staff and Mrs. Lanza were well engaged with each other and making many efforts to accommodate and facilitate AL’s attendance in school.” (Pg. 64) But the other side to this story paints a very different picture. According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza not only made the Honor Roll three consecutive semesters of his tenth grade year, but received “High Honors.” What are the odds?

According to the recently released report on Sandy Hook by the OCA, Adam Lanza “was originally scheduled (8/27/07) to take Sociology, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, English, Math, and Latin” for the upcoming 10th grade. But according to the OCA, it was a plan “which did not last beyond a few months.” (Pg. 65)

The OCA also reported that “by February of that school year AL had dropped most of his mainstream classes, including Sociology, History, Chemistry, and Physics and had arranged to complete English as an “independent study.”   And, the OCA further said, “It became clear that the recommendations for full time participation in regular classes was a goal that could not be met at that time.” (Pg. 67)

The OCA also reports that “in March, Mrs. Lanza was again contemplating home-schooling AL, but worried that he would later be unable to show (a college?) all of his work with the Technology Club or work study. Summer of 2008 records indicate that AL was to receive Extended School Year Services (ESY), in the form of one-on-one tutoring from school staff.” (Pg.67)

The OCA did not elaborate – did not provide any information – on whether AL actually completed any school work through the ESY program, but does report that for the 11th grade “AL did not reenter mainstream classes in the High School again.” (Pg.68)

Now, let’s consider the names of those Newtown High School students, as reported and printed by The Newtown Bee, who made the “First Quarter Honor Roll,” which is dated 12/21/2007. Listed under “High Honors – Tenth Grade” is… Adam Lanza. What are the odds?

According to The Newtown Bee, “To be included students must be enrolled in five or more courses with a minimum of four courses in areas of study other than independent study and released work experience and have no incomplete grades.”

If the public is to believe the OCA report, Adam Lanza was so racked with anxiety in 10th grade that his educational plan “did not last beyond a few months.” Still, though, this emotionally tormented boy was able to pull off an “overall average of 90 or higher for the marking period and receive a grade of 85 or higher in each course used in determining the overall average.”  Seems a stretch, but okay. What about the next semester?

According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza also made the Honor Roll in the Second Quarter and, remarkably, also was listed in the Third Quarter as receiving the “Latin Award – Summa Cum Laude.” Again, all of this was accomplished by a kid whose educational plan for the year “did not last beyond a few months.”

It is beyond incredulous, given his reported emotional and behavioral problems at the time, that Adam Lanza was capable of carrying off such an academic feat, but it is even more astounding that the OCA, after two years of painstakingly combing through his school records, could so blatantly fail to even mention that Adam Lanza had earned such high academic accolades.

And, while the OCA appears to paint the Yale Child Study Center as the smartest guys in the room, based on Adam’s stupendous academic record for the 10th grade, it appears Yale’s diagnosis missed the mark. According to the OCA report, “Yale Child Study Center clinicians did not conclude that AL was “high functioning” or that he definitively had Asperger’s Syndrome. Rather, they found him as profoundly impaired and debilitated by anxiety, with extensive special-education/therapeutic needs.” (pg. 62)

Both scenarios don’t add up. Either Adam Lanza was “profoundly impaired and debilitated by anxiety,” or he was “high functioning” and brilliant. Adam Lanza did not make the Honor Roll for three consecutive quarters of the eighth grade at Newtown Middle School and, at the same time, not attend eighth grade. Either Adam Lanza completed all of the required courses at Newtown High School in order to be listed as being on the Honor Roll and receive “High Honors,” or his educational plan “did not last beyond a few months… and by February of that school year AL had dropped most of his mainstream classes, including Sociology, History, Chemistry, and Physics and had arranged to complete English as an “independent study.”

Is it possible that educators at Newtown Middle and High School made a mistake placing Adam Lanza on the Honor Roll and bestowing “High Honors” on him? If they did, perhaps lawmakers may find it appropriate to revisit the legitimacy of all of those students who were bestowed honors. After all, if a child does not attend school “at all” for an entire year and then is placed on the Honor Roll for three consecutive semesters of that year, there appears to be a major problem with student accountability, to say nothing of the accuracy of the rating system.

One might also argue, given the faculty’s reported knowledge of Adam Lanza’s emotional and behavioral challenges, that it is a stretch to believe someone at Newtown Middle and High School didn’t question Adam Lanza’s placement on the Honor Roll at least once, let alone let it slip for three consecutive quarters.

On a number of levels the OCA’s carefully crafted “story” does not make sense, beginning with the fact that Adam Lanza skipped the entirety of the 8th grade and was allowed by the Newtown School District to move into the 9th grade. The problems surrounding Adam Lanza’s apparent academic accolades only adds to the ever-growing list of oddities in the OCA report.

The only way to truly know the facts is for Adam Lanza’s school records to be made public. Until then, the report is simply a “story” made up by the OCA…and not a very good one at that. Certainly the OCA report should not be used to decide the future mental health programs for Connecticut’s school children.

8th Grade

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9th Grade

http://www.newstimes.com/default/article/Newtown-High-School-honor-roll-54220.php

10th grade

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Child Advocate Report, Claims Adam Lanza “Untreated?”

This is Dedicated to All Children

The long awaited report from the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate regarding the shooting at Sandy Hook openly admits that the state failed Adam Lanza by not adhering to the special education laws already on the books.  This reinforces AbleChild’s efforts for full disclosure of Lanza’s medical and mental health records to demonstrate the rise of school shootings and their link to psychiatric drug use.

Like almost every aspect of the Sandy Hook shooting incident, this report does not provide actual documentation to support its conclusions, but, rather, a “story” has been crafted for public consumption in an effort to gain support for an increase in the already intrusive mental health programs within the State.

Recall that in the spring of 2013, AbleChild sued the State for release of Lanza’s medical/mental health records and autopsy/toxicology findings.  The State has not released those findings. Rather than rule on AbleChild’s request for full disclosure, the State FOIA Commission determined it was a “legal matter,” and left AbleChild, who had petitioned on behalf of the public, the only option of a lengthy and costly litigation to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

AbleChild’s attorney, Jonathan Emord, wrote that the Medical Examiner’s refusal to disclose information requested by AbleChild “violates the equal protection and free speech clause of the Connecticut and federal Constitution.” AbleChild argued that failure to disclose this information is a public safety issue and tied to a national crisis of school shootings.

What seems clear from the Advocate’s “story,” however, is that Adam Lanza received numerous evaluations and completely subjective psychiatric diagnoses, beginning with the “Birth to Three” system.  Over the course of the next thirteen years, Lanza had been diagnosed with no fewer than nine disorders or disabilities and had been evaluated by no less than three psychiatrists.

Oddly enough, while it seems clear from the Advocate’s “story” that Lanza’s “Individualized Education Plan” (IEP) “Team” was at least aware of his mental health issues, albeit having an incomplete record, the “Team” was not as concerned about Lanza’s educational progress. For example, according to the “story,” Lanza completely skipped the entire eighth grade and still was allowed to enter the ninth grade. How exactly did the IEP “Team” make this decision? A show of hands? Secret ballot? All those in favor say, “aye?”

Adam Lanza, according to the “story,” was not receiving home-bound or hospital based tutoring.  He was not attending school at all, for the entirety of his eighth grade year but the IEP “Team” got together in June of 2006 to set up Lanza’s class schedule for the ninth grade? This is incredible.

All too often the Advocate’s “story” places blame on Nancy Lanza, when, in all actuality it was the psychiatrists, psychologists, IEP “TEAM,” and the Yale Child Study Center that dropped the ball which is clearly evidenced by the numerous admissions that, “there are no records…”.  One thing is certain, the decision to allow Adam Lanza to enter the ninth grade, without having completed any of the required work in the eighth grade, could not, by law, be made by Nancy Lanza.

And, to make matters worse, Lanza apparently was allowed to remain out of school, with no tutoring or Home-Bound services based on his psychiatrist’s evaluation…the same psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, who was referred to Nancy Lanza by the Newtown School system and who subsequently voluntarily gave up his license to practice in New York and Connecticut because of his sexual relations with patients. The same Dr. Fox destroyed his patient records, fled the country, and is currently living in New Zealand.

Despite what appears to be a complete disconnect between the school district and Dr. Fox, the Child Advocate’s Office recommends that these kinds of referrals by the school to outside psychiatrists continue. Where is the oversight? Who determines which psychiatrists are qualified? And, given that Fox destroyed all of his records in this case (and who knows how many other referrals) where is the accountability?  This is the exact reason informed consent is critical and should always include the right to refuse psychiatric labels and drugs.

Also of interest is the never before released information about “The Big Book of Granny.” Recall, that this school project has been used repeatedly by “mental health professionals” to make the case that Lanza’s violent tendencies began at a very young age.  Now, thanks to the Child Advocate’s “story,” the public has learned that this was a joint effort and co-written by another fifth grade boy.

The question, of course, is how much of the violence can actually be attributed to Adam Lanza? The Child Advocate’s office does not answer that question, but, rather, continues down the psychobabble path that the book stands out “to mental health professionals” as a text marked by extreme thoughts of violence and there should have been an intervention. But whose “thoughts of violence?”

In the end, and of little surprise, the Child Advocate’s Office provides pages and pages of recommendations that will increase mental health intrusions into the school system. And all of these recommendations are based on flawed, misleading and incomplete records of the “services” provided to Adam Lanza.

Is Sandy Hook Father Asking the Wrong Questions?

In a recent article in the pressherald.com, father of Sandy Hook victim Avielle Richman, Dr. Jeremy Richman, is looking for answers, saying “we’re scientists. We ask ‘why’ for a living.” So one can only wonder why he’s failed to ask the questions that scream for answers.

As the father of one of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, Dr. Richman is on a broad, all encompassing mission to understand the workings of the brain of those who commit violent acts. Clearly this is a noble cause. But Ablechild cannot help but wonder what action Dr. Richman has taken to understand the murderous behavior of his child’s killer, Adam Lanza.

Specifically, it is well known that Ablechild sued the state of Connecticut in order to have Lanza’s medical/mental health records, autopsy and toxicology reports released for public review. Ablechild was denied this request as the state randomly concluded the non-profit was “not a stakeholder.” Ablechild believes that we all are stakeholders.

But it seems impossible that the state would deny a request by the family of one of the victims. Clearly the Richman’s would be considered “stakeholders.” Did Dr. Richman contact Ablechild to lend his support in these efforts? No. Has Dr. Richman ever requested that the state release this important information? Ablechild is unaware of any of the victim’s families requesting this information be made public.

It is no secret that Lanza had mental health issues. The problem, though, is that the State Police investigation of the shooting incident provides no information about Lanza’s mental health “treatment” after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting.

The public is aware that Lanza was “treated” at the Yale Child Study Center for OCD and was prescribed two antidepressants – Celexa and Lexapro – experiencing serious adverse reactions to both psychiatric drugs, as reported by his mother. But that was five years prior to the shooting.

What mental health “treatment” did Lanza receive after his “treatment” at Yale? It seems unrealistic that this grieving father would initiate this daunting brain campaign without having investigated every possible lead for answers about the man who killed his daughter.

After all if Lanza had been receiving mental health “treatment” prior to the shooting that consisted of psychiatric drugs, that information may be useful in understanding Lanza’s violent behavior. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed “Black box warnings” on all antidepressants as they may cause suicidal ideation and a host of other adverse reactions, including mania, psychosis and hallucinations.

Prior to the shooting was Lanza prescribed one or several psychiatric drugs to “treat” his OCD? Nobody knows. This information has not been made public. Has Dr. Richman made an effort to meet with Peter Lanza to glean information about Adam’s mental health “treatment?”

As a neuroscientist who has worked with pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Richman cannot ignore the fact that psychiatric drugs may actually cause violent behavior and, thus, information about Lanza’s mental health “treatment” may actually help understand his violent behavior. Failing to request specific, detailed information about Lanza’s mental health history seems odd.

Furthermore, has Dr. Richman, or any of the victim family members, requested information about the sealed, stamped envelope found in the Lanza home addressed “for the Young Students of Sandy Hook Elementary School?” Does Dr. Richman, or any of the victim families, know what was inside that envelope? Have the family members questioned the State Police about how the DNA of a convicted offender from New York was found on that envelope, while Adam and Nancy Lanza’s DNA was eliminated?   Do the family members wonder why, out of thousands of pieces of paper removed from the Lanza home, this particular envelope was fingerprinted and tested for DNA? What made this piece of evidence so important?

Additionally, has Dr. Richman, or any family members, questioned the State Police about the oddities of the ballistics report. For example, have any the family members raised questions about the weapon used to kill Nancy Lanza – the Savage Mark II rifle? Testing revealed the weapon has no fingerprints or DNA from Adam Lanza, but does have DNA for some unknown person.

Dr. Richman’s desire to understand the workings of the human brain of those who commit violent acts is a noble cause, but one cannot help wonder why Dr. Richman, and the other family members, appear to have no interest in the mental health records of the man who killed their loved ones or, for that matter, the ever increasing number of oddities in the official investigation of the shooting.

Ablechild believes these are basic questions that may help provide the answers that Dr. Richman is seeking and, also, make sense of the millions of dollars that were immediately appropriated by the State Legislature for increased mental health services.

 

 

Newtown Massacre & The Courant’s Endorsement of McKinney

According to the August 2nd article in the Hartford Courant titled McKinney Over Foley in Republican Primary for Governor, McKinney is the paper’s choice to remain in the Capitol because, among other things, in immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, McKinney voted for the controversial and intrusive gun safety bill.

The Hartford Courant has thrown its endorsement to McKinney because the Senate Minority leader ignored the Republican base and voted with the Democrats where, “he could engage in the process and try to influence the drafting of the law.”

It is unclear how McKinney influenced that legislation and, actually, it would be of some interest to the voters to know what specific role McKinney played in crafting the sweeping legislative language. While the gun restrictions are repugnant to many, Ablechild is more concerned about the other legislative measures included, specifically the costly increases in mental health services forced on taxpayers.

Recall that the legislation in question was hurriedly passed with little or no public input. More importantly, the investigative report on Sandy Hook had not been completed at the time of the vote and, therefore, lawmakers, including McKinney, literally were writing legislation based on the passions of the moment, not on supporting data.

In fact, a year-and-a-half later, there still is no data to support the costly mental health measures passed in that legislation. There is no publicly available evidence that Adam Lanza lacked mental health services. Frankly, there is no information publicly provided about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting. Is this information not important to McKinney or even the Courant?

Given the obvious lack of information about Lanza’s mental health, does it not seem irresponsible that lawmakers, including McKinney, would rush the passage of costly mental health legislation? After all, there is a projected $1.4 billion deficit next year. How much of this deficit includes the newly passed increased mental health services?

Ablechild appreciates McKinney’s experience and could have used his “influence” when it sued the state for the release of Adam Lanza’s medical/mental health records and toxicology report. But there was no support from McKinney or any lawmaker. There was no, nor is there any, interest on the part of lawmakers to obtain any data about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment leading up to the shooting.

Yes, McKinney’s 15-years of experience is helpful, but how effective is that experience if those legislative efforts are not based in documentable necessity? One cannot help but wonder how many other legislative measures were passed with McKinney’s “influence” that were based on zero supporting information?

For that matter, one has to wonder why the Hartford Courant, clearly aware of the lack of documentation regarding Adam Lanza’s mental health, continually fails to address this point. Additionally, is it not odd that, prior to the release of the investigative report, the Courant was all over the shooting at Sandy Hook but has failed to report on investigative details that scream for answers.

Specifically, is the Courant not interested in the oddity of the envelope found in the Lanza home, addressed “for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary” and, of which, the DNA of a known offender in New York was obtained. Is the Courant not interested in what information was contained in the stamped, addressed envelope? Is there no interest by this reporting entity as to how this piece of evidence found its way into the Lanza home?

It’s one thing for lawmakers to ignore investigative material, but when a leading press organization blatantly fails to report on important investigative details, the people of the state truly are not being served.

 

The Mental Health Agenda of Sandy Hook

The 47 recommendations presented yesterday by the Task Force to Study the Provisions of Behavioral Health Services for Young Adults is nothing short of a never-ending mental health assault on the families of Connecticut. Forty-two of these recommendations benefit the psychiatric and drug industries, while only five address quality of service and human rights.

The most galling part of the 60-odd page report is that, while its recommendations are reportedly in response to the passage of P.A. 13-3, which was in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, nowhere in the report is there any information provided about Adam Lanza’s mental health.

In fact, on page 1 of the report, the Task Force writes, “among other issues, the event (Sandy Hook) focused attention on Connecticut’s behavioral health services for young adults and raised questions about the extent of their availability, accessibility, and affordability.” Why?

If the mental health legislation (P.A. 13-3) was passed in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook, wouldn’t the focus be on the mental health treatment Adam Lanza received? Wouldn’t the Task Force be interested in the 2007 “treatment” provided to Adam Lanza by the Yale Child Study Center, including Yale mental health providers who labeled Nancy Lanza as “non-compliant” because she refused to continue Adam on a psychiatric drug that was causing serious adverse effects?

One would think that if these increased mental health services were in response to the actions of Adam Lanza, then his mental health “treatment” would be the focus of any recommendations. Of course, given that the last five years of Lanza’s mental health history is missing from the State Police Investigation of Sandy Hook, it would be difficult for the Task Force to provide any real insight. But here’s the rub, the Task Force apparently didn’t even ask for mental health data on Adam Lanza. Why?

Given the complete lack of interest in the mental health “treatment” of Adam Lanza – the reported reason behind the push for increased mental health services in Connecticut – one can only assume there is another agenda.

Without getting into too much detail, what becomes immediately clear is that the Task Force is hell-bent on “early recognition, assessment, intervention and treatment of childhood and adolescent behavioral health disorders.” In other words, because of Adam Lanza’s mental health (which no one seems remotely interested in) Connecticut’s preschoolers and adolescents need to be screened for mental disorders, and the sooner the better.

To insure that the State’s preschoolers are properly screened and “treated,” the Task Force is recommending truckloads of taxpayer dollars to pay for an army of mental health guessperts to identify these alleged mental disorders. It doesn’t matter that no psychiatric disorder is based in science. It doesn’t matter that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the premier mental health agency in the world, admits on its website that science doesn’t know what causes any psychiatric disorder, the Task Force cannot stop itself from passing on the fraud.

For example, on page xi of the report, the Task Force recommends to “increase the age of majority to 18 years old for making decisions regarding one’s mental health and substance abuse treatment, given the current understanding of mental illness to be a biologic disease.”

Sure, that may be the State’s and the Task Force’s “understanding” of mental illness, but it’s wrong. Continuing to spew this disinformation does not help those suffering, and certainly raises questions about the Task Force’s understanding of mental illness and the reported “treatment” options.

The most important section of this report comes as part of the human rights issues. The Task Force, apparently unwilling to tackle the issue, passes off the discussion of forced psychiatric care onto “a separate Task Force,” which also would address the use of psychiatric drugs on children who refuse such treatment.

The Task Force’s unwillingness to address these important issues does not, however, stop it from recommending to “…provide aggressive outpatient services, shy of forced medication, to clients with severe illness in Connecticut.”

Mental health “treatment” always comes back around to psychiatric drugging and, perhaps, that is the reason the Task Force deliberately steered clear of Adam Lanza’s mental health history. After all, if it were revealed that Lanza received the best mental health care possible, what reason would there be to increase mental health services within the state?

Worse, still, if it were revealed that Lanza actually received quality mental health care, then it’s quite possible that the mental health community’s “treatment” may actually come under fire. In the end, though, without any information about Adam Lanza’s mental health, these are 47 mental health recommendations too many.

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Fails to Meet Deadline on Sandy Hook Mental Health Gun Bill

The problem with instituting sweeping, costly and invasive mental health legislation is that there always are unintended consequences. The State of Connecticut, when passing Public Act 13-3, apparently didn’t consider that there are two sides to every story. And when it comes to “mental health” there most definitely is another side beyond the mental health we-need-early -intervention-to-help-those-suffering mantra.

A case in point is the recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, which found that more than 10,000 toddlers between the ages of 2-3 are being medicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD.   Worse still, these data are limited and the experts believe the problem is actually much worse on a national level.

But to fully grasp the insanity of drugging 2-3 year olds with highly addictive mind-altering drugs, let’s consider a few important pieces of information about this age group. First, the average weight for male toddlers at three years is 29.5 pounds and females is 28.4 and, by this age, only 80 percent of the child’s brain has fully developed.

Developmentally 2-3 year olds are learning to arrange things in groups, putting things in size order, remembering what they did yesterday, recognizing themselves in the mirror and learning to say please and thank you. Yes, great strides, but still the brain is not fully developed.

Now let’s consider the ADHD diagnosis. This alleged mental disorder is all about behavior.  Regardless of what the American Psychiatric Association, APA, believes, the National Institutes of Mental Health, NIMH, makes it clear on its website that “scientists don’t know what causes ADHD.” There is no test known to man that can detect ADHD as a biological/genetic abnormality.

Because the  APA has no proof of any abnormality that is the alleged ADHD, they have compiled a list of “abnormal” behaviors that apparently make up the diagnosis, including “is often easily distracted,” “is often forgetful in daily activities,” “often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly,” etc.  After considering the list of 18 criteria that make up the alleged mental disorder, ADHD, one has to wonder what child doesn’t repeatedly do most, if not all, of these behaviors.

Nevertheless, now, let’s consider the ADHD “treatment” most commonly used – Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine). Methylphenidate is a schedule II drug and, as such, is considered by the federal government to be one of the most addictive. It also is considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA,  “to produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to cocaine, which substitute for each other and for cocaine in a number of paradigms, and chronic high-dose administration of either drug in animals produces psychomotor stimulant toxicity including weight loss, stereotypic movements and death, and in clinical studies, they produce behavioral, psychological, subjective and reinforcing effects similar to cocaine.”

The DEA sums up Methylphenidate and Amphetamine use this way: “this data means that neither animals nor humans can tell the difference between cocaine, amphetamine or methylphenidate when they are administered the same way at comparable doses. In short, they produce effects that are nearly identical.”

In a nutshell, 2-3 year old toddlers are being labeled with an alleged mental illness that is not based in science or medicine and then “treated” with extremely addictive, mind-altering drugs before their brains are even fully formed.

Did legislators really consider the implications of Public Act 13-3, which pushes for early identification and screening for mental illness in the state’s children? Was even one expert allowed to testify before any committee, making lawmakers aware of the above facts?  No.

More importantly, according to Public Act 13-3, a Task Force was established to consider all of the mental health provisions and report back to the Legislature and the Governor.  Not surprising, this report, which was due no later than February 1st of this year, still has not been completed.

These Task Force recommendations may provide some guidance on just how intrusive the mental health provisions are. For example, at what age will Connecticut’s legislators decide early intervention and screening is inappropriate and harmful? Public Act 13-3 allows for “Mental Health First Aid Training” as part of in-service training for educators.  If a child is labeled with a mental illness through this early intervention and mental health screening, what rights are afforded to parents who refuse to accept this “help?”

Does this mental health intervention end at the school-age level or will the State continue to legislate mental health screening to include toddlers and preschoolers?    Given that nearly 8 million American children between the ages of 6-17 currently are taking at least one mind-altering, psychiatric drug, it is clear what mental health’s “treatment” consists of.  Yes, there are consequences for ill-advised and uninformed legislation.

 

 

 

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

 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.

 

 

The New Yorker’s Andrew Solomon Fails to Disclose Family Connection to Drugs Prescribed to Adam Lanza.

BREAKING:

The New Yorker’s Andrew Solomon Fails to Disclose Family Connection to Drugs Prescribed to Adam Lanza.

It seems that the facts of the Sandy Hook shooting continue to be cloaked in secrecy, even by the journalists that cover the tragedy.

Earlier this week, The New Yorker magazine published “The Reckoning: The Father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers,” by Andrew Solomon.

The lengthy article was useful from the standpoint of revealing that Adam Lanza actually had been prescribed two – not one -psychiatric mind-altering drugs and had experienced serious adverse reactions to both drugs.

The fact that Adam Lanza had been prescribed the antidepressant CELEXA was made public in the State Police Report earlier this year, but it was Solomon who made pubic Adam’s use of a second antidepressant, LEXAPRO.

Despite revealing the use of Lexapro, nowhere in Solomon’s article does the writer disclose that his father, Howard Solomon, is the Chairman of pharmaceutical giant, Forest Laboratories, the makers of both antidepressants CELEXA and LEXAPRO.  This is bizarre.

Given that, to date, these are the only drugs known to have been prescribed to Adam Lanza, wouldn’t Solomon think it appropriate to disclose his family relationship to the pharmaceutical maker of both drugs?  From a journalistic standpoint it seems unconscionable that Solomon failed to disclose this information.  Did Solomon fail to disclose his relationship with the family’s pharmaceutical company because of the serious adverse reactions Adam experienced while taking both drugs?

Recall that Ablechild sued the State of Connecticut to obtain Adam Lanza’s toxicology report and mental health records. The result of Ablechild’s exhaustive efforts was the State’s Assistant Attorney General, Patrick B. Kwanashie, explaining that the reason for withholding Lanza’s medical records was because it “would cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications.”

What medications would people stop taking? One can only wonder, now, how many psychiatric drugs Adam Lanza had been prescribed and is there some pharmaceutical arm-twisting taking place prohibiting the release of this important information?

Due to a lack of transparency and disclosure in this case, one can only speculate. (see Ablechild Press Release of March 11, 2014)