Stop undue influence of psychiatric drug companies: More non-drug mental health alternatives!
Key mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor leaders endorsed the following statement at a SAMHSA summit. Please support this urgent call:
Bastille Day 2010 Statement – Rockville, MD
14 July 2010
The Urgent Necessity for More Non-Drug Alternatives in Mental Health Care
We are alarmed about the over-reliance on psychiatric medication in mental health care because of the undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry. We see an urgent need for a far greater range of non-pharmaceutical mental health care.
We are participants in the USA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) meeting, “Past, Present, and Future: SAMHSA Efforts to Promote Consumer/Survivor Inclusion.” We are speaking today only for ourselves as individuals, and not for SAMHSA. We applaud SAMHSA's endorsement of the values of peer support, social justice, self-determination, trauma-informed care, and a dignified life in the community for everyone.
As leaders in the mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor movement, we affirm the principle of choice in mental health care, and continue to work towards the elimination of coercion in all mental health treatment. We support the right of those who willingly choose to take prescribed psychiatric medications.
However, the inappropriate prescriptions of psychiatric medication are harming a wide range of the USA population, including infants, vets, people of color and seniors. Severe side effects are contributing to heartbreaking suffering and approximately 25 years of premature mortality for people in the public mental health system. Advertisements, the media and far too many mental health organizations are disseminating misleading information about psychiatric medication. Some individuals are even involuntarily administered psychiatric drugs over their expressed wishes, including on an outpatient basis.
Our constituency's right to choice, empowerment and self-determination in mental health care is threatened as never before, in the USA and internationally. We call upon SAMHSA to work with their federal partners and consumer/survivors to:
• Address the conflict of interest in the current relationship between the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry.
• End direct-to-consumer advertising for psychiatric medications.
• Complete the President's New Freedom Commission recommendation to investigate the long-term effects of psychiatric medication.
• Independently research on the efficacy, safety and successful ways of reducing psychiatric medications.
• Research and fund non-drug alternatives such as mental health peer-run respite centers and recovery-oriented education.
We encourage all those concerned to speak out about this crisis.
Ellen K. Awai
Jean Campbell, Ph.D.
Gladys DeVonne Christian
Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D.
Jonathan David, Ph.D.
Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D.
David Fuller, CPRP
J. Rock Johnson, J.D.
Jacki McKinney, M.S.W.
David W. Oaks
Sharon P. Yokote, HCPS
Charles Whitfield commented
Stop forced drugging. See my new book Not Crazy: You may NOT be Mentally Ill, Muse House Press, due out December
Sharon Kuehn commented
This is a critical need as healthcare integration moves us deeper into the medical model. Holistic alternatives must be made readily available for our health and healing. Peer support and psychsocial rehab approaches are part of this, but we need to go much further with services such as yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, Capacitar, walking in nature, learning to use our body, mind and spirit together to create internal peace, allowing us to deliver our gifts (to a world that needs us now).
Carolyn Meece commented
Many times if you really notice reform is more of the same old system.
Nothing changes, nothing improves.
Carolyn Meece commented
People have a right to heal and get out of the insanity of so-called mental health and away from abusers. The so-called mental health industry has bankrupted taxpayers, traumatized a number of children, teenagers, and adults and killed in cold blood. You cannot rationalize that which is irrational. It is all "Deranged" and on "Animal Farm", "Dancing in the Dark". It is a bunch of Hogsqueel and Hogwash.
"What Cops Know"
Irene O'Neill commented
Wellness and Recovery need to be the focus of health care reform. Access to alternatives is extremely important. For nearly the past 15 years I have been involved with the Awakenings Project. It has been the biggest influence in my recovery ever. One of the most frightening things about health care reform is that the large insurers continue to hold people and the companies they work for hostage by threatening to raise rates, causing some large companies to cut back the alternatives they offer workers, cutting chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, many of the alternative healing therapies that are actually very helpful for mental health.