"All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed...
Second, it is Violently Opposed...
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860)

  www.AntidepressantsFacts.com -Urgent  

All Truth passes through Three Stages: First,
it is Ridiculed. Second, it is Violently Opposed... Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860) By Charly Groenendijk
2004 - 2009

  Bush Administration, Columbia University & "TEEN SCREEN PROGRAM"  

Bush, Columbia University & "TeenScreen®" Program
The "Teen Screen Program" is a "Mental Illness" Screening Program put out by Columbia University, the same group that has been designated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to review the studies on SSRI-antidepressants inducing self-harm & suicide in children... Conflict of Interests!

Protect Your Children Against U.S. Government/Pharmaceutical "Mental Health" Screening Program
It is critically important to stay alert and be informed, especially regarding your rights as a parent and a child. We urge everyone who wishes to protect their family to visit the following websites in order to educate themselves and to spread the word. Do NOT under any circumstances let your child participate in any survey linked to the Government/Pharmaceutical arrangement called TeenScreen®
*** www.TeenScreenTruth.com and www.TeenScreenFacts.com ***
*** www.TeenScreen-locations.com ***

A critically important article in the British Medical Journal of June 19, 2004:
announces a President Bush initiative that recommends screening for every US citizen and promotes the use of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs (neuroleptics).

This dubious, government sponsored (Bush Administration) initiative was formulated by a panel of "experts" assembled to carry out the requirements of the:

"New Freedom Commission on Mental Health" ...launched in April 2002,
resulting in the urgent 'recommendation' of NATIONAL implementation of the:
  1. Psychiatrist Dr. Graham Emslie Psychiatrist Dr. Karen Wagner TMAP formula (TMAP = Texas Medication Algorithm Project), a decision-tree construction, a composition of psychiatric management guidelines, promoting the use of the newer and more expensive psychiatric medications such as antidepressants & antipsychotics as a baseline treatment in EVERY subjective defined "mental disorder"... for any form of "mental illness"... "depression" included... NOT on the basis of evidence, but on the basis of a consensus panel ("expert" opinions of mental health specialists) under the direct influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry... It is the culmination of a series of other dubious federally sponsored "mental health" initiatives -that began during the Clinton Administration- and which focus especially on children. The TMAP consensus panel included Psychiatrists Dr. Graham Emslie and Dr. Karen Wagner (see photo), both co-developers of TMAP at the University of Texas Southwestern. Click HERE to read about damning evidence concerning TMAP from whistleblower Allen Jones.

  2. Psychiatrist Dr. David Shaffer TeenScreen® program (TeenScreen site = here), a non-scientific initiative developed by Psychiatrist Dr. David Shaffer (see photo) at the The Division of Child Psychiatry of Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. Teenscreen is a "mental health" screening program, promoting a computer based subjective 10 minute questionnaire/survey of "mental health" screening for ALL schoolchildren... David Shaffer is a Professor of Child Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. He is the Director of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Division of Child Psychiatry, at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. His strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry and major drug companies span decades...

Few people know that Dr. David Shaffer is not only the developer of the abovementioned TeenScreen Program, but also is a spokesman for pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly & Company, the manufacturer of Prozac (Sarafem). Furthermore, Dr. Shaffer is a paid consultant for pharmaceutical companies Hoffman la Roche, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline.

Dr. David Shaffer is also credited with formulating the abovementioned psychiatric medication TMAP questionnaire, in collaboration with abovementioned TMAP co-developers:
Dr. Graham Emslie and Dr. Karen Wagner.

Teenscreen states on its own website that there is "no connection between TeenScreen and TMAP other than once appearing in the different sections of the same presidential commission report." So, this is simply another lie, a gross distortion of the truth by TeenScreen® (= David Shaffer, Laurie Flynn, Leslie McGuire, etc.. for more information on the keyplayers behind Teenscreen go to: http://www.teenscreentruth.com/teenscreen_key_players.html

Dr. David Shaffer's agenda becomes painfully clear when we are reviewing the most dubious "ACNP Task Force Report" of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) that was released in early January 2004, as part of an insincere attempt to influence the position and decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on one of the many dangerous side-effects of (SSRI) antidepressants, namely the induction of suicidal thoughts, behaviours and self-harm in children and adolescents. The absolute shocking truth reveals Dr. David Shaffer, Dr. Graham Emslie and Dr. Karen Wagner, friends and members of the ACNP, as participants in the realization of that abovementioned most dubious "ACNP Task Force" report. "TeenScreen" and "TMAP" in one and the same bed, downplaying the extremely dangerous side-effects of antidepressants in children and teenagers.

Psychiatrist Dr. John Mann Another participant in the deceptive "ACNP Task Force Report" is Psychiatrist Dr. John Mann (see photo), another strong advocate for the use of harmful antidepressants in children. The physicians participating in the "ACNP Task Force" (Shaffer, Emslie, Wagner & Mann) concluded SSRI antidepressants are "safe and effective and did not increase the risk of suicide in children & adolescents." (More information here)

Clearly, the "ACNP Task Force" attempted to deflect the impact of an alarming body of previously concealed evidence (see: 7. Suicidal behaviour) uncovered by the British medicine authority MHRA. The independent British review of the unpublished company data from controlled clinical trials in children and adolescents, revealed that SSRIs were not beneficial for children and that children who took the drugs were at two-to-threefold increased risk of becoming suicidal.

With the FDA supervisors shielding the pharmaceutical industry and suppressing significant information with regards to safety of SSRI-antidepressants, and Daniel Troy aboard, a former pharmaceutical industry advocate installed by Bush, not much objectivity was to be expected from the FDA. See also: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6).

Fortunately, the "ACNP Task Force" (Shaffer, Emslie, Wagner & Mann) has not succeeded in its shameful plans.

The FDA, (although divided, as some physicians within the FDA still tried to influence the final important antidepressant safety decision, by suppressing a very important study by the good Dr. Andrew Mosholder, a study on the dangerous suicide-effects of antidepressant use in children), carefully reviewed the evidence of true medical studies and after hearing the numerous heartrending testimonies at the FDA hearing in February 2004, finally the FDA decided to order the highest risk warning: the "Black Box" warning for ALL antidepressants regarding the induction of suicidal thoughts/behaviours and self-harm in children.

In spite of the most serious highest risk "Black Box" warnings ordered by the FDA, psychiatrists Dr. David Shaffer, Dr. Graham Emslie, Dr. Karen Wagner & Dr. John Mann persistently keep on promoting the use of antidepressants in children, despite the overwhelming amount of medical studies and case reports evidencing harmful dangerous side-effects in relation to (SSRI) antidepressant use in children, adolescents and adults.

Laurie Flynn, TeenScreen's Director TMAP and TeenScreen are most clear examples of systematized projects in order to medicate children at the earliest age possible. Laurie Flynn (see photo), TeenScreen's Director, makes no mistake about that when she says: "The long-term goal of TeenScreen is not just identification, but treatment for those in need".

Dr. Shaffer's TeenScreen screening program asks a variety of subjective questions about mental well-being. (more info...) Examples include: "In the last year, has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren't interested in anything?" and "Has there been a time when you couldn't think as clearly or as fast as usual?" With these type of questions... so called "treatment" is rest assured...

See Lawsuit against TeenScreen's abominable methods, by parents 15-year-old Chelsea Rhoades: TeenScreen: More to do with Drugging Children than Saving Lives - One Family's Story
Also See: Teenscreen: Based on Flawed Pseudo-Science in Psychiatry (especially read the comments below)
Also See: Teenscreen Calls Physical Illness a Mental Disorder

Most concerning is the fact how the TeenScreen propagaters have tried to circumvent a federal law mandating parental consent (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment - 'PPRA'), a child's only protection from these invasive unproven initiatives. Because of this dispicable attempt to undermine federal protection laws, parents especially need to be alerted, knowing with whom they are dealing, before it is too late.

The "New Freedom Commission on Mental Health" recommended that the screening be linked with "treatment and supports," including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions." Eli Lilly & Company, manufacturer of Prozac, Zyprexa & Olanzapine, the latter, one of the drugs recommended in the plan, has multiple ties to the Bush administration. Corrupt connections between the Bush family, Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals and the CIA were recently brought to public attention again.

The Bush administration US Screen Program, deceptively titled the "New Freedom Initiative for People with Disabilities", hides it's secrets way down deep in Chapter 4, under the section "Promoting Full Access to Community Life." The full 2004 progress report can be found at the following URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/newfreedom/toc-2004.html

An extract from chapter 4:
"The Commission also concluded that the roles played by states must be central to the transformation process, but states must rely heavily upon the involvement of consumers in research, planning, and evaluation activities. At the same time, the coordinated efforts of more than 25 Federal agencies must undergird and reinforce the states’ processes. Every adult with a serious mental illness or child with a serious emotional disturbance must have an individualized plan of care coordinating services among programs and across agencies. Every state must have a comprehensive mental health plan, the ownership of which is shared by all state agencies impacting the care of persons with serious mental illnesses."

So, according to this plan, which seems to be going ahead, EVERY man woman and child in the United States is to be screened, analyzed and monitored by the US government and legal enforceable personalized "care" regimes WILL BE applied to those exhibiting signs of "mental illness"...

A response by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy (www.drugawareness.org) & Vera Hassner Sharav (www.ahrp.org) follows.

Response from Dr. Ann Blake Tracy:

JUNE, 23  2004
Several of you have sent this article to me to make sure I saw it. I had. But what far too many in our society need to know is that this program has been in place for some time already.

It is called the "Teen Screen Program" and is in 168 schools at this point. It is a program put out by Columbia University. Yes, this is the same group that has been designated by the FDA to review the studies on SSRI's. So with their Teen Screen Program at risk if these drugs are pulled for children, I do not expect an unbiased report out of Columbia University.

Two summers ago this coming August, Mark Taylor, the first boy shot at Columbine, and I, along with Pepper Draper, our Arizona Director, testified in Tempe, AZ against the implementation of the Teen Screen Program there. At that point there were only 60 some odd schools involved. So it is growing rapidly.

Now the suggestion that all school employees be tested is new. It is a very interesting proposal in light of the fact that in 1992 in my own school district here in Utah, $1.2 Million was spent on Prozac prescriptions and $5 Million in psychiatric care for district employees. Clearly this suggestion to include school personel is only a beginning for those who smell the scent of even larger profits coming in on these serotonergic antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics.

For Dr. Graham Emslie to be for the program is hardly a shock either. He has made lots of $$$$$ doing studies on children for the drug companies. He is one of the two who never should have been involved, but is one of the leading researchers in the Prozac study we just heard preliminary reports on our national news this past month. (Why would anyone be surprised that these two researchers, imbedded in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, would make a statement that the study is currently showing improvement in children on Prozac when their own study showed a doubling of the suicide rate and a suicide attempt rate that jumped by five times?)

Anyway in light of this article coming out I am next going to send you two more very enlightening articles that will shed more light on what is happening in the Pharma/Politics department.

Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
Executive Director, International Coalition For Drug Awareness
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare
& audio tape on safe withdrawal: "Help! I Can't Get Off My Antidepressant!"
Order Number: 800-280-0730; Website: www.drugawareness.org

Response from Vera Hassner Sharav:

JUNE, 25  2004
A second article in the British Medical Journal discloses additional evidence uncovered by Allen Jones, the whistle blower from the Pennsylvania Inspector General's Office.

The first BMJ article focused on the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP)-- which was developed by University of Texas psychiatrists, paid for by Big Pharma, and adopted during the Bush governorship.
See:Whistleblower removed from job for talking to the press by Jeanne Lenzer
BMJ 2004;328:1153 (15 May), doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7449.1153

The documents uncovered by Jones show that TMAP is the biggest pharmaceutical / state mental health marketing rip off scheme masquerading as "evidence-based" treatment guidelines.
See Allen Jones report:

The current BMJ article focuses on documents that expose an even more ambitious "mental health" initiative--a nationwide screening for "mental illness" campaign that is about to be unleashed on the American public in July. This dubious, government sponsored initiative, will implement the TMAP formula nationally. The first target population for this massive screening for mental illness initiative is in America's schools: 52 million American school children and 6 million school personnel are about to be ordered to undergo screening tests for hidden mental illnesses-- as if mental illness needs to be ferreted out and captured like a rabid animal.

This massive screening initiative was formulated by President Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2002). It is the culmination of a series of dubious federally sponsored, "mental health" initiatives--begun during the Clinton Administration-- that focus especially on children.
See: U.S. Surgeon General. Report of the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health:
National Action Agenda. January 3, 2001.

These "mental health" initiatives have methodically inflated the number of American children (and adults) being labeled with a mental illness; they have inflated the number of dependents with "mental illness" on social security disability (SSDI & SSI); and they have led to the depletion of public and private health insurance budgets because of disproportionate skyrocketing expenditure for the most expensive psychotropic drugs-- even as scientific evidence is lacking to demonstrate the benefit of these drugs.

Robert Whitaker, author of the prize winning book, Mad in America, that laid bare the mistreatment of patients with schizophrenia and the unprecedented profitable marketing of the atypical anti-psychotic drugs, has recently gathered the following data from government sources about the extraordinary increase in use of these drugs and the cost to taxpayers. He chose 1987 as the benchmark date because the following year Prozac-the first of the new generation of "wonder drugs"--was introduced.

Social Security Disability Payments (SSDI)
In 1987, 875,000 people received SSDI payments because of mental illness. By 2002, that number had grown to 1.7 million people who received SSDI because of mental illness. That an increase of 825,000 people over 15 years, or about 55,000 people per year.

In 1987, 2.63 million people received SSI payments because of a mental disorder. In 2002, 4.07 million received SSI because they had a diagnosable mental disorder. Thus, the number of people with a mental disorder receiving SSI grew 1.44 million people over this 15-year period, or about 95,000 people per year.

In 1987 the number of people receiving SSI or SSDI payments because of mental disorders was 3.505 million. In 2002, the number receiving SSI or SSDI payments was 5.77 million. That's an increase of 2.265 million people in the past 15 years, or about 150,000 people per year.

In 1987, psychotropic drug expenditure was $1 billion. By 2002, it was $23 billion--23 times the amount spent 15 years earlier.

Screening for mental illness serves no useful medical or societal purpose inasmuch as there are no reliable diagnostic tools for mental illness and no proven safe and effective treatments. Clinical trial data from SSRI antidepressants and so-called atypical anti-psychotics failed to demonstrate either these drugs' safety or a benefit greater than placebo. But, as Allen Jones' documents make clear, the TMAP practice guidelines designate these very drugs as the treatment of choice--not on the basis of evidence, but on the basis of a consensus panel. A panel under the direct influence of Big Pharma.

Indeed, as the BMJ reports, "Dr Peter J Weiden, who was a member of the [TMAP] project's expert consensus panel, charges that the guidelines are based on "opinions, not data" and that bias due to funding sources undermines the credibility of the guidelines since "most of the guideline's authors have received support from the pharmaceutical industry." ( BMJ 2004;328:1153 )

If implemented, this "new freedom" initiative establishes a coercive selection policy that opens the door to discrimination and forced treatment with powerful, psychotropic drugs that have caused more harm to children (and adults) than the conditions for which they were prescribed. Children and adults who will be labeled mentally ill on the basis of unreliable, subjective tests (essentially questionnaires), can expect to lose their autonomy as a brigade of mental health providers intrudes on their lives and takes over their decision-making authority. Those labeled mentally ill can expect to be stripped of their civil and human rights.

Already, a surgically implanted psychotropic drug dispenser--to assure compliance with prescribed drug regimens--is under development in clinical trials at the University of Pennsylvania.
See: http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/03/10/07.html and ethics debate at: http://www.ahrp.org/ethical/WolpeSharav.html

We don't have policies to screen innocent people for crimes they have not committed on the theory that early intervention is a justifiable crime prevention measure. We don't have screening policies to ferret out would-be terrorists. What possible justification does the government have to put children through a dubious screening process for suspected mental illness?

This involuntary, pseudo-medical government sponsored selection policy is a chilling example of the illegitimate intrusion by government into personal and confidential healthcare decisions.

The public needs to be ever vigilant against such overreaching government policies which have historically proven harmful. Being labeled "mentally ill" and being forced to ingest psychotropic drugs whose harmful effects are only beginning to be disclosed--is not in the best interest of children.

An examination of Germany's mental and racial "hygiene" policies and the implementation of those policies, before the Holocaust, is a sobering awakening. German children were screened and tested for disabilities ("deformities"), then removed from their families, institutionalized, and eventually gassed by Nazi doctors--many of whom were prominent psychiatrists.

See, Hitler's Unwanted Children: Children with Disabilities, Orphans, Juvenile Delinquents and Non-Conformist Young People In Nazi Germany (1998), by AHRP board member, Dr. Sally Rogow.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Tel: 212-595-8974
e-mail: veracare@ahrp.org

June 21, 2004

Bush to screen population for mental illness

Sweeping initiative links diagnoses to treatment with specific drugs

President Bush plans to unveil next month a sweeping mental health initiative that recommends screening for every citizen and promotes the use of expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs favored by supporters of the administration.

The New Freedom Initiative, according to a progress report, seeks to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing "services in the community, rather than institutions," the British Medical Journal reported.

Critics say the plan protects the profits of drug companies at the expense of the public.

The initiative began with Bush's launch in April 2002 of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which conducted a "comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system."

The panel found that "despite their prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children.

The commission said, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders."

Schools, the panel concluded, are in a "key position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work at the schools.

The commission recommended that the screening be linked with "treatment and supports," including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions."

The Texas Medication Algorithm Project, or TMAP, was held up by the panel as a "model" medication treatment plan that "illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better consumer outcomes."

The TMAP -- started in 1995 as an alliance of individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Texas and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas -- also was praised by the American Psychiatric Association, which called for increased funding to implement the overall plan.

But the Texas project sparked controversy when a Pennsylvania government employee revealed state officials with influence over the plan had received money and perks from drug companies who stand to gain from it.

Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General says in his whistleblower report the "political/pharmaceutical alliance" that developed the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, was behind the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission, which were "poised to consolidate the TMAP effort into a comprehensive national policy to treat mental illness with expensive, patented medications of questionable benefit and deadly side effects, and to force private insurers to pick up more of the tab."

Jones points out, according to the British Medical Journal, companies that helped start the Texas project are major contributors to Bush's election funds. Also, some members of the New Freedom Commission have served on advisory boards for these same companies, while others have direct ties to TMAP.

Eli Lilly, manufacturer of olanzapine, one of the drugs recommended in the plan, has multiple ties to the Bush administration, BMJ says. The elder President Bush was a member of Lilly's board of directors and President Bush appointed Lilly's chief executive officer, Sidney Taurel, to the Homeland Security Council.

Of Lilly's $1.6 million in political contributions in 2000, 82 percent went to Bush and the Republican Party.

Another critic, Robert Whitaker, journalist and author of "Mad in America," told the British Medical Journal that while increased screening "may seem defensible," it could also be seen as "fishing for customers."

Exorbitant spending on new drugs "robs from other forms of care such as job training and shelter program," he said.

However, a developer of the Texas project, Dr. Graham Emslie, defends screening.

"There are good data showing that if you identify kids at an earlier age who are aggressive, you can intervene ... and change their trajectory."