Sunday, January 30, 2005

Questionable Psych 'TeenScreen' Program

TeenScreen — Psychs and drug companies look for new customers: school kids

TeenScreen tries to hide the facts: Since this web page has gone on-line TeenScreen and other related web sites have been quietly deleting certain objectionable web pages and information that proved their drug company connections and funding. was forewarned that they might do this, therefore all web references were saved in advance and are provided here for your uncensored viewing.

TeenScreen is a so-called "diagnostic psychiatric service" aka a "suicide survey" done on children who are then referred to psychiatric treatment. The evidence suggests that the objective of the psychiatrists who designed TeenScreen is to place children so selected on psychotropic medication.

Note: the suicide survey previously was posted at

but we noticed on January 24, 2005 that TeenScreen and company did their disappearing act again on the survey. Luckily the survey had already been saved for you to review.

"It's just a way to put more people on prescription drugs," said Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of "The Truth About Drug Companies." She said such programs will boost the sale of antidepressants like Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac even after the FDA in September ordered a "black box" label warning that the pills might spur suicidal thoughts or actions in minors. (The New York Post, December 5, 2004)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Psych Search provides journalists, law enforcement, insurance investigators and citizens ready access to governmental reports on mental health practitioners across the state of Florida.

Did you know it was against the law for a psychotherapist to have sexual relations with his or her patient? It only makes sense that a patient should expect to feel safe in the office of his or her counselor, however, hundreds of people are abused every year by the psychotherapists they appeal to for help. According to Florida State Law this is a crime punishable by imprisonment. Many times these criminal acts go unreported — something we hope to correct.

This and other fraudulent and criminal actions have been committed against the citizens of Florida by psychotherapists for years — and now is the time to speak out to end these administrative and criminal transgressions.

Definition of a "psych" or psychotherapist:

For the purposes of this website a "psych" is defined as a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Mental Health Counselor, Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychiatric Nurse or Clinical Social Worker. A "psych" is also defined as an unlicensed person who attempts to "practice" in any of the above "professions."

Survey Finds 80 Pct of U.S. Doctors Witness Mistakes

One can only imagine what happens in the field of mental health. As Reported in Rueters UK. Also as reported in this weblog, since Rueters stories tend to be on the internet for only a month.

Eighty percent of U.S. doctors and half of nurses surveyed said they had seen colleagues make mistakes, but only 10 percent ever spoke up, according to a study released on Wednesday. These mistakes are undoubtedly contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of people who die from medical errors in the United States each year, the researchers and experts on nursing said.

Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers need to be less shy about speaking up about mistakes, incompetent colleagues and other problems that can hurt patients, the report said. Healthcare workers who do speak up are not only able to nip the problem in the bud, but are also happier in their own work, said Joseph Grenny, president of consulting group VitalSmarts, which conducted the survey.

Grenny's team surveyed 1,700 nurses, doctors, hospital administrators and other experts for the study.

"Fifty percent of nurses said they have colleagues who appear incompetent," Grenny told a meeting of clinical care nurses. Eighty-four percent of physicians and 62 percent of nurses and other clinical care providers have seen co-workers taking shortcuts that could be dangerous to patients," he added.

The survey found that 88 percent of doctors and 48 percent of nurses and other workers felt they worked with colleagues who showed poor clinical judgment.

A 1999 study by the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine found that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors in hospitals. Last July, Lakewood, Colorado-based HealthGrades Inc. said the true number was closer to 195,000 people a year.

The errors include giving patients the wrong drug or the wrong dose, surgical errors and spreading germs through unhygienic practices.

"People frequently see these problems but too often they fail to talk about them," Grenny said.

Why not? Because people fear confrontation, lack time or feel it is not their job, Grenny said. Even doctors were afraid to question nurses they saw making errors, he said. His survey found the 10 percent of workers who did speak up felt good about it.

"When they effectively confront a situation, it makes a difference," he said. "These people are also more satisfied with their workplace."

Connie Barden, who helped author standards for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, said nurses cannot be afraid to point out mistakes. "Nurses must be as proficient at handling personal communication as they are in clinical skills," she told the meeting.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Psychiatric unit boss concealed criminal conviction

A Senior Queensland [Australia] health official has been asked to show cause why he should not be disciplined after it was revealed he had been convicted of the indecent assault of a work colleague two years ago in Victoria.

Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital executive manager of mental health services Bill Pepplinkhouse plead guilty in March 2002 to a charge of indecent assault following an incident in May 2001 in which he squeezed a female colleague's breasts during a work function. At the time Mr Pepplinkhouse was the manager of the Grampians Psychiatric Services, a division of the Ballarat Health Services in Victoria – a position he had held for five years.

The documents relating to Mr Pepplinkhouse's conviction surfaced yesterday following recent stories by The Courier-Mail about the administration of the PA Hospital's mental health services.

Documents provided to The Courier-Mail show that shortly before his conviction, Mr Pepplinkhouse had resigned his job and moved to Queensland "to get on with his life".

In sentencing Mr Pepplinkhouse for the charge of indecent assault, Magistrate Tim McDonald said it was unacceptable for a person in a position of authority to engage in an action that broke the trust that should exist between a manager and an employee.

Queensland Health senior executive director (health services) John Scott said last night Mr Pepplinkhouse has been asked to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken. "The Queensland Health Code of Conduct requires all employees to declare if they have been charged with an indictable offence or convicted of a criminal offence," Dr Scott said. "This was not done."

Liberal health spokesman Bruce Flegg said a simple reference check with Mr Pepplinkhouse's former employer would have brought the matters to light. Dr Flegg said even though the matters may not have been finalised before the courts, the matters would have been well known and Mr Pepplinkhouse's former employers would have had a responsibility to reveal the information.

"This is a senior appointment in the vulnerable area of mental health," Dr Flegg said. "Queensland Health have been delinquent in their reference-checking and assessment. The judge's remarks in this case were particularly scathing around holding a position in the mental health area."

Monday, January 17, 2005

We don't live under NORMAL CONDITIONS

A documentary film about depression and suicide

There is a tendency afoot today to blame the epidemic sweep of clinical depression in the US on bad genes or screwy brain chemistry. But what if the causes of depression, suicide, or other mental illnesses, do not emanate from biology?

This artful documentary film brings six people together for three days of emotional, and at times heated, discussion about the sources of their despair.

Intermixed are hard-to-find facts which challenge the psychiatric industry's claims that depression is a biological disorder. Fundamentally about empowerment and the resilience of the human spirit, this surprisingly inspirational new movie will change the way you think about "normal."

The following informational text slates that are presented in the film are listed here with their sources:

  Title Source
In the U.S., 30,000 people kill themselves each year, one every 17 minutes.  National Center on Health Statistics
One million adolescents attempt suicide each year  Centers for Disease Control
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 15-24.  National Mental Health Association
As many as one-third of teenage suicides are gay/lesbian youth. Department of Health & Human Services
Identical quadruplets develop schizophrenia. A renowned geneticist proclaims them proof of a biological cause, discounting the girls environment which included a father who banged their heads together to stop them from crying, abused them sexually and mutilated their genitals with acid. Toxic Psychiatry, Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
In 1952 the American Psychiatric Association published the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual listing 60 types of mental disease. By the 1990s the 4th revision of the DSM listed 374 ways to be mentally ill.  DSMs
In 1967 several prominent psychiatrists wrote in a prominent medical journal that brain dysfunction was a cause of urban violence.  JAMA
In the 1970's government agencies funded psychiatrists who advocated psychiatric brain surgery for rioters and their leaders.  War Against Children, Peter R. Breggin
In the 1990's, the U.S. government conducted research on inner-city youth believed to be genetically pre-disposed to violence. The goal: to identify them at an early age and use drug treatment before they become criminals. In Genes we Trust, Barry Mehler
While 75 percent of all attempted suicides are women, 80 percent of all completed suicides are men. National Center for Health Statistics
In 1997 Prozac became the No. 2 overall selling drug in the U.S. bringing Eli Lilly 1 billion, 492 million dollars in revenue The Plymouth as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lilly and other drug companies fund research at institutes where their products are tested and provide speaking fees, consulting deals and free travel to the psychiatrists in charge of the studies. New York Post, 1998
Biopsychiatrists have long touted brain scan evidence as proof that schizophrenia is a biological disorder. Researchers recently discovered that the brain abnormalities are found only in neuroleptic-treated patients and are in all likelihood medication-induced. American Journal of Psychiatry
December, 1998
Estimates suggest that 5 million children take Ritalin for ADD, a "disease" that has never been proven to exist. There Is No Disease
Fred Baughman, Jr. M.D.
Since 1980 the number of private, for-profit psychiatric hospitals has more than tripled. Over 300,000 children and adolescents are placed in these hospitals each year. In Kentucky in 1990, 80% of the kids in one hospital were there with a diagnosis of "conduct disorder." Bedlam, Joe Sharkey

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Finally free

A story seen in the South East Missourian (shortened from the original)

Rodney Yoder is a "psychiatric prisoner" no longer. After nearly 15 years of fighting for his freedom by raging against what he calls "forced psychiatry," Yoder was released on bond last week from the Randolph County Jail in Chester, Ill. And it looks like, barring violent relapses, his freedom is final.

Yoder gained national media attention three years ago when he argued in court that psychiatry was a myth in an attempt to get his release from a mental institution for the criminally insane, where he had been involuntarily held 12 years.

"They almost got away with it," Yoder said. "I was facing extinction in there. When I arrived in Chester 14 years ago, they told me I wasn't getting out of there alive." Yoder, 46, spent last week doing more mundane things like getting a haircut, learning to use a cell phone, eating at restaurants and studying for his driver's license. On Saturday, he looked at used minivans in St. Louis. Yoder, who is staying with a friend in Glen Carbon, Ill., has also been bombarded with television and print media requests. A film crew working on a documentary about his plight also has been following him around. "It's kind of overwhelming," Yoder said. "I've hardly had a second free."

[While in prison] Yoder learned about the anti-psychiatry movement, shaping an opinion based on countless hours reading books by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Otto Kernberg in the facility's library. While he thought these writers had something to say about the human condition, he thought it wasn't right to forcefully incarcerate someone based on something as hard to prove as mental illness. "They even said that Jeffrey Dahmer was sane to stand trial," Yoder said. "It's nonsense, arbitrary nonsense. They can use that label -- mental illness -- any way it suits them."

Then, in 2002, Yoder got national attention, including a Time magazine article, an ABC News report and several stories on National Public Radio, when he argued that he should be released from Chester because there was no such thing as mental illness. Gaining support from the likes of Patch Adams -- the medical doctor and health-care activist who had a movie made about him starring Robin Williams -- and Church of Scientology followers, Yoder turned his commitment hearing that year into a proceeding that some said put psychiatry on trial. But again a jury agreed that Yoder should not be released. All the while, Yoder refused psychiatric treatment.

Then in 2003, state mental health officials decided to release Yoder. They said he now had bipolar disorder, but that that wasn't enough to hold him. "They said I went from mad to moody," Yoder quipped. Randolph County State's Attorney Michael Burke reacted by charging Yoder with attempted murder and aggravated battery for an alleged attack on a fellow inmate at Chester. Yoder said a conviction could have meant a prison term of 30 years. Yoder spent the last 19 months in the Randolph County Jail, seemingly unable to get beyond the borders of Chester. While incarcerated, he said, he wrote 1,000 letters urging business owners and residents to not vote for Burke in the recent election. Burke lost.

Then newly elected State's Attorney Randy Rodewald told a Chester judge on Tuesday that he doubted he could successfully prosecute Yoder and didn't fight bail. Phone calls to Rodewald were not returned Friday. Circuit Judge Dennis Doyle set bail at $10,000, and Susan Kniffel, a friend of Yoder's from Glen Carbon, posted the required $1,000 to secure his release. Yoder believes Rodewald will drop the charges against him. There is another hearing later this month.

For some, Yoder's story is about problems with psychiatry. Dr. Thomas Szasz is one of the most controversial figures in psychiatry today. He has been a psychiatry professor at the State University of New York in Syracuse for nearly 46 years and has become one of Yoder's biggest defenders. Szasz's most famous book is called "The Myth of Mental Illness." "This is not just about Rodney," Szasz said. "There are hundreds of thousands of more like him. But I'm happy he's free. Just like I'd be happy if someone escaped Auschwitz."

Yoder only wants to look ahead. He admitted he plans to sue the government for $100 million. He does want to write a book and continue to tell his story. He says he'll keep talking as long as people are being labeled "mentally ill" and being held against their will in psychiatric hospitals. He says he has no intention of hurting anyone. Friday afternoon, Yoder was in good spirits after taking his driver's test. "Aced it," he said matter-of-factly.

He found a 1991 Plymouth minivan on Saturday and haggled with the dealer to knock $200 off the price so it wouldn't exceed his limit of $2,000. Today, he hopes to drop Kniffel at the airport, meet with some more press types and then take a road trip. He got wind that the judge would modify his bond so he can go to Florida, where another friend has promised to put him up. Under his current bond, he's not allowed to leave Illinois. "Everything's perfect," he said. "Finally."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Holding people indefinitely causes mental health problems

Detainees held under current UK anti-terrorism laws have serious mental health problems that should be considered in the development of new legislation, warned a recent statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The college—the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland—issued the statement after the House of Lords ruled on 16 December 2004 that the current legislation under which detainees are held (the 2001 Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act) was unlawful because indefinite detention without trial was incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998.

After reviewing psychiatrists’ reports on the detainees currently held under the 2001 anti-terrorism act, the college suggested that there was evidence that detainees, as a group, had serious mental health problems. The particular circumstances of their detention were considered to contribute significantly to their mental health problems. The statement warned: "Despite limitations to available evidence, our best estimate is that indeterminate detention, lack of normal due legal process, and the resultant sense of powerlessness, is likely to cause significant deterioration to detainees’ mental health."

The college considered that these aspects of detainees’ circumstances, rather than the lack of access to mental health services, were responsible for their mental health problems. It was satisfied that the access detainees had to mental health services in prison was similar to that of other prisoners.

Psychiatric treatment, however sophisticated it may be, cannot neutralise the deleterious impact on mental health of the particular nature of this group’s detention, the statement suggested. "We are therefore particularly concerned that the home secretary should not suggest that provision of psychiatric treatment from high quality mental health services can in itself prevent a decline in detainees’ mental health that may come about as a result of their detention," the college said.

The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, a human rights organisation that helps survivors of torture and organised violence, supported the call for any changes to legislation to take account of the impact on detainees’ mental health. Dr Charlotte Chapman, health and human rights adviser with the foundation, said: "We have long been concerned about the damaging mental health consequences of indefinite detention without trial.

"The nature of detention under the post-9/11 Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 is particularly likely to cause long term psychological problems. Detention without proper trial can increase feelings of injustice, frustration, and despair, which will all lead to deteriorating mental health."

In the expectation that the UK government will soon review anti-terrorism legislation, the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: "We consider that the impact on mental health is an important factor that should be taken into account when reviewing present legislation or contemplating future such legislation."

Dr Chapman suggested: "All prisoners held under anti-terrorism legislation should either be released or brought to trial." She argued that any suggestion that detaining people without trial might be for the greater good of society—in this case, reducing the risk of terrorism—had been shown in the past to be ineffective. "Reducing civil liberty and justice for individuals does not secure safety for society," she concluded.

The Statement by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in respect of the psychiatric problems of detainees held under the 2001 Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act can be found at

Thomas Szasz, Professor of psychiatry emeritus, State University of New York, Syracuse, New York [Retired] commented on this in the British Medical Journal:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists's declaration that indefinite detention is not good for the mental health of terrorists is to be applauded. Shouldn't the College entertain the possibility that detention is also not good for the mental health of mental patients, even if their detention is called "hospitalization"?

But this would be too much common sense, I suppose...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Psychiatric Lies Factor in Andrea Gates Case

An appeals court in Texas has overturned Andrea Yates' capital murder conviction for drowning her children. The Texas First Court of Appeals in Houston ordered a new trial in the drownings of her children. Yates had been serving a life sentence on convictions in the 2001 drownings of three of her five children. She was not tried for the deaths of the other two children. A three-judge panel found that the Harris County jury may have been prejudiced by the false testimony of a prosecution expert.

Yates' lawyers had argued at a hearing last month before a three-judge panel of the First Court of Appeals in Houston that psychiatrist Park Dietz lied when he said he consulted on an episode of the TV show "Law & Order" involving a woman found innocent by reason of insanity for drowning her children. After jurors found Yates guilty, attorneys in the case and jurors learned no such episode existed.

As reported in many places

British therapist in Connecticutt court confesses to patient sex.

A British hypnotist charged with having sex with several patients and secretly videotaping the encounters has reached a plea deal that will send him to prison for 90 days.

Michael Johnstone, 64, pleaded no contest yesterday to reckless endangerment and breach of peace charges in Milford Superior Court in Connecticut. Johnstone, who will be sentenced on February 28, declined comment as he left court with his wife. He faces being deported back to Britain.

Authorities say Johnson confessed to having sex with half a dozen patients and secretly videotaped trysts in his offices. The victims were in their 40s and 50s and had sought treatment for anxiety.

"He was using his position to exploit these women who were coming to him for some real problems," prosecutor Kevin Lawlor said.

Mr Lawlor said the victims were "not 100 per cent satisfied" with the plea deal, but he said the agreement ensures Johnstone will not victimise more women because he is now banned from working as a hypnotist.

"I think it was also important for him to serve some jail time," he said. Hugh Keefe, Johnstone’s lawyer, said the charges are misdemeanours and that he does not have to register as a sex offender.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Rep. Maurice Hinchey Blasts FDA role on Prozac Documents

As reported on the Record Online

Revelations about high rates of suicide and violence connected with the anti-depressant Prozac highlight serious problems with U.S. drug development, Rep. Maurice Hinchey said yesterday.

Hinchey is reviewing documents that apparently were not given to federal researchers during the approval process for Prozac conducted by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The drug is produced by the Eli Lilly and Co.

"The documents seem to show that clearly there was an awareness of the risks associated with the use of the drug and that that information was available to Lilly and perhaps to the FDA 16 years ago," Hinchey said.

The documents surfaced first in the Jan. 1 issue of the British Medical Journal. The documents suggested Eli Lilly officials were aware of the problems and tried to minimize their potential impact, the article said.

Eli Lilly spokesmen could not be reached for comment yesterday but issued a statement to the British journal: "The safety and efficacy of Prozac is well studied, well documented, and well established."

More than 50 million people have been prescribed the drug worldwide, the company said. Hinchey questioned whether the company had withheld the damaging information from the FDA and the public as Prozac was being approved.

The British journal said it would turn the documents over to the FDA for its review. A spokesperson for the federal agency said yesterday that it had not yet received the documents.

The new documents about what Lilly and the FDA might have known come at a time when the drug approval process, which the FDA oversees, is under fire. The drug Vioxx was pulled from the market recently when high rates of heart problems were connected with it, for example. Some anti-depressants like Prozac were only recently connected to high rates of suicide as well.

Hinchey, who is on the House Appropriations Committee, blasted the FDA. "This case demonstrates the need for Congress to mandate the complete disclosure of all clinical studies for FDA-approved drugs so that patients and their doctors, not the drug companies, decide whether the benefits of taking a certain medicine outweigh the risks," he told the medical journal. This is not the first time the Saugerties Democrat has taken on the FDA.

Last year, Hinchey attacked Daniel Troy, the chief counsel for the agency. Troy was a former law clerk of failed candidate for U.S. Supreme Court Robert Bork. He represented pharmaceutical and tobacco industries in legal battles with the FDA, but that was before he took over as its chief lawyer.

Hinchey accused Troy of favoring drug company interests over that of the public, even going so far as seeking out legal cases and coordinating how the federal agency could best help the companies. Troy denied any bias but resigned his post in November. Hinchey said he was sure the pressure he applied to Troy played a role in the resignation.

But Troy's resignation will not end the agency's problems. The media focus is intensifying, and he plans to request an internal investigation of what the FDA knew about the Prozac data, Hinchey said.

"We have been led to believe we have the most complete safety procedure of any country in the world," he said. "But we may have to confront some illusions and myths here about the efficacy of our processes. We have to change them so they are the best and safest in the world."

The controversial documents can be found online here in PDF format

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Therapist pleads guilty to being the rapist

A former therapist for children who suffered sexual abuse or had behavioral problems has plead guilty to molesting 10 of them.

Douglas Kennedy, 41, of Peru in Clinton County, faces up to seven years in prison under the plea deal. The victims, both boys and girls, currently range in age from 8 to 15, District Attorney Richard Cantwell said. Kennedy worked for Behavioral Health Services in Plattsburgh from 1995 until he resigned in June 2004 after two victims came forward.

The 11-count indictment included charges of criminal sexual acts, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. When Cantwell asked Kennedy to elaborate in court, he described some of the incidents as "horseplay." Kennedy admitted performing oral sex on a boy more than once during therapy sessions between January 2002 and June 2004.

Another incident involved a 10-year-old girl who said Kennedy restrained her with toy handcuffs and left her in her underwear, Cantwell said. Other children said they viewed pornography during sessions. Authorities said they contacted 170 former clients during the investigation. "It was very troubling to meet the children and see how fragile they are and to see what happened to them on their road to recovery," Cantwell said. "Many of them were helpless victims."

Kennedy is free on $2,500 bail and was scheduled for sentencing March 8. His attorney did not immediately return calls for comment.

See this more detailed report in the Press Republican

Some of the children are now back in counseling trying to cope with their original sexual abuse or behavioral problems along with this additional trauma. Temporary orders of protection were granted for each of the victims. He will voluntarily surrender his license and will never again work as a therapist. Calls to Kennedy's lawyer, Stephen Johnston, were not returned Tuesday.