Antidepressants Kill
17 May

CCHR Calls Traditional Observance of Mental Health Month into Question

Antidepressants KillStarted in 1949 by Mental Health America, “Mental Health Awareness Month” – as observed by mental health advocacy groups – is purported as a means of educating the populace on mental health issues for the purpose of education and providing support for those labeled as mentally ill. Yet this observance has been put into question by alarming statistics showing the number of people taking psychiatric drugs in the United States including the drugging of children and parallel increases in child and adolescent suicide rates. As an example, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of antidepressant use alone in the U.S. among people ages 12 and older increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008. [1]

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a watchdog group with Florida offices in the Tampa Bay area, has extensively researched statistics on child psychotropic medications in the U.S. and reports that the total number of children 17 and under taking psychotropic prescription drugs in the U.S. today is 8,389,000. [2]

Of these, 4,130,000 children are between 6 and 12 years old, on powerful mind-effecting prescription drugs.

Many children may be on these medications far longer than their parents expect. Last month in an investigative story on psychotropic drugs, the New York Times headline reported that “Most People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit.” [3]

WND reported in February this year, after the Parkland shooting, that “A disturbing number of perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on – or just recently coming off of – psychiatric medications.” [4]

NBC News reported on April 22 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) finding that  suicides in the U.S. are at the highest level in “almost three decades”. [5]

“During Mental Health Awareness Month we want to make it known that over 8 million children in this country are on prescribed psychotropic drugs known to be addictive and to prompt violent ideations,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “And if mental health strategies are effective, why are the suicide rates climbing every year?”

Columnist Art Levine, author of Mental Health Inc., reported in Newsweek last week “grievous harm, too often fatal, continues to be inflicted on thousands of children and adults due to the overprescribing of psychiatric medications”.  Mr. Levine lost his mother to over-prescription of psychotropic medications. [6]

In May 2016, even the Mayo Clinic staff were advising parents on child suicidal tendencies from antidepressant medications. “Why do antidepressants have warnings about suicidal behavior in children?” was the question asked by Clinic Staff as the authors. [7]

“What warning signs should you watch for when your child is taking antidepressants?” the article continued. It lists talk of suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide, self-injury, agitation or restlessness among disturbing effects of psychiatric medication in children.
“Rather than patting ourselves on the back over campaigns to end the stigma of mental health,” said Ms. Stein, “we should be finding out why pharmaceuticals for kids are being promoted so heavily to parents and teachers. We need to deal with the fact that this is not working.”

“When our children are drug-free and suicide-free, then we can celebrate mental health,” she added.









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26 Apr

Mental Health Watchdog Warns Officials on Baker Act Rights Abuses

CCHRWith reports surfacing that the number of citizens being Baker Acted is on the rise following the school shooting in Parkland, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is cautioning those charged with executing an involuntary psychiatric examination to pay heed to the potential for misuse and abuse. [1]

During fiscal year 2015/2016 there were 194,354 involuntary Baker Act examinations in Florida. This figure is more than double the number of men, women and children who were Baker Acted during fiscal year 2001/2002 and is significantly more than the 21.80 percent change in Florida’s population over the same time period.

This alarming increase prompted CCHR, a mental health watchdog organization that investigates and exposes human rights violations in the mental health industry, to issue a warning to state officials on the abusive use of the Baker Act law as illustrated by hundreds of complaints received by CCHR from Floridians across the state.

“Prior to the tragedy in Parkland the number of Baker Acts was already skyrocketing and based on the complaints we receive on our hotline about 60% of the people being taken into custody and sent for an involuntary psychiatric examination never met the criteria for a Baker Act in the first place,” reported Diane Stein, President of the CCHR Florida chapter.

The Baker Act law lays out three criteria for the involuntary examination of a person and all three criteria must but met, yet CCHR has found that the majority of citizens and even those authorized to initiate a Baker Act don’t know or understand these criteria.

In response, CCHR Florida regularly hosts a seminar on Baker Act Rights delivered by attorney at law Carmen Miller who as a former assistant public defender has personal experience in representing Baker Act clients in civil and criminal hearings. During the seminar, Ms. Miller provides those in attendance with information on the Baker Act and on their rights under this law while answering questions on how a person can protect themselves from the abusive use of the mental health law. [2]

“Over the past few years we have participated in or hosted hundreds of events for the sole purpose of educating people on their rights and exposing abusive psychiatric practices such as the prescribing of dangerous drugs that have known side effects such as suicide, aggression and homicidal ideation,” said Stein. “Thomas Jefferson said that ‘an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people’ and I believe it is CCHR’s duty to help make sure every Floridian understands their rights.” [3]

For more information on the next Baker Act Rights seminar please call 727-442-8820 or visit the center at 109 N. Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida.



[1] Local Officials, Organizations are Seeing an Increase in Baker Act use in SWFL

[2] Voices for Humanity: A Stand for Rights in the Sunshine State

[3] Psychiatric Drugs: Create Violence and Suicide


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Antidepressants are Addictive
19 Apr

New York Times Exposes Antidepressant Scandal: Antidepressants are Addictive

Antidepressants are Addictive

Antidepressants are Addictive

Despite of protest from over 40 psychiatrists, the New York Times has published an in-depth investigative report of improper labeling and prescribing of antidepressants in the U.S., Britain and elsewhere.

The article is headlined, “Most People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit.”

According to the Times’ own analysis of federal data, long-term usage of antidepressants is surging in the U.S., to the point where 15.5 million Americans have been taking them for five years or more. This rate had doubled since 2010 and tripled since 2000.

Nearly 25 million adults have been on antidepressants for at least two years, a 60 percent increase since 2010.

The Times data makes a clear case that the reason for the mounting long-term usage rates of these drugs – which were only researched and marketed for short term periodic use – is because people are unable to quit. In essence, antidepressants are addictive.

“Many who try to quit say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about”, the Times researchers conclude.[1]

“Some people are essentially being parked on these drugs for convenience’s sake because it’s difficult to tackle the issue of taking them off,” said Dr. Anthony Kendrick, a professor of primary care at the University of Southampton in Britain.
The Times points out that in the U.S., physicians have “wide latitude” in prescribing an approved drug as they choose. The fact that no long-term data was available did not impede U.S. doctors “placing tens of millions of Americans on antidepressants indefinitely.”

The article quotes Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus at Duke University, who says “Most people are put on these drugs in primary care, after a very brief visit and without clear symptoms of clinical depression. Usually there’s improvement, and often it’s based on the passage of time or placebo effect.”[2]

Diane Stein, President of Citizens Commission for Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, had another explanation. “Psychiatric drugs are a massive pharmaceutical cash cow,” said Stein. “One needs to follow the money. From 2011 to 2015 $175.4 billion was spent on psychiatric drugs in the U.S. This is truly an outrage on a national scale.”[3]

CCHR is a human rights group founded in 1969 jointly by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology. In Florida, it is particularly active in addressing illegal abuses of the Baker Act which may include enforced drugging of children without parental consent if an emergency treatment order is issued.

For this particular report, the Times had access to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, with data compiled over the last two decades. “Over all, more than 34.4 million adults took antidepressants in 2013-4, up from 13.4 million in the 1999-2000 survey”, the Times reports.

Victoria Toline, 27, of Tacoma WA took nine months to taper off Zoloft. “I had to drop out of school,” she reported in the article. “My life’s been on hold. Basically that’s all I have been doing, dealing with the dizziness, the confusion, the fatigue, all the symptoms of withdrawal”, said Ms. Toline. “I couldn’t finish my college degree,” she said. “Only now am I feeling well enough to try to re-enter society and go back to work.”

Drugmaker Eli Lilly responded to news inquiries with a statement of continuing commitment to their antidepressant products, reported the article. However, the company declined to say how common withdrawal symptoms are.
Some readers expressed shock to learn that nearly 7 percent of American adults have taken prescription antidepressants for at least 5 years.

“CCHR has been warning of the dangers of antidepressant abuse since 200 lawsuits were filed in relation to Prozac in 1990”, said Ms. Stein. “We took a lot of heat for it, but what we warned about then is painfully obvious today.”[4]


[1] New York Times, April 7, 2018. Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit by Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff

[2] New York Times, April 9, 2018. Opinion – Letters to the Editor – Withdrawing from Antidepressants. 4 letters from psychiatrists and one psychiatric nurse, one signed by 39 Columbia psychiatrists

[3] Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide: Putting the Community at Risk

[4] CCHR: Exposing the Dangers of Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Drugs— Despite FDA/Psychiatric Pharmaceutical Cover-Ups

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CCHR campaign launched to educate law enforcement, policy makers and school officials about violence- and suicide-inducing drug risks.
23 Mar

Mental Health Watchdog Releases New Report on Link Between Psychotropic Drugs & School/Mass Shootings

CCHR campaign launched to educate law enforcement, policy makers and school officials about violence- and suicide-inducing drug risks.

CCHR campaign launched to educate law enforcement, policy makers and school officials about violence- and suicide-inducing drug risks.

The mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)International is offering Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and school officials a free copy of its compelling new report about a common denominator found in many mass shootings: psychotropic drugs. The report, called Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide: School Shootings & Other Acts of Senseless Violence, provides information on more than 30 studies that link antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, mood stabilizers and sedative hypnotics to adverse effects that include hostility, mania, aggression, self-harm, suicide and homicidal thoughts.

The 64-page report details more than 60 examples of school and mass shootings, stabbings and senseless violent acts committed by those under the influence of psychotropic drugs or experiencing serious withdrawal from them.

Jan Eastgate, President of CCHR International, said, “The goal of this report is to help law enforcement, educators and policy makers to learn how psychotropic drugs are a hidden link to the prevalence of violence and suicide in the community. Facts, statistics, studies and expert opinion in the report show the medical concerns about the rise of senseless acts of violence coincident with the increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions and usage.

“Psychiatric drugs create dependence, suicide and violence in a percent of individuals taking them. That is a documented fact. The disastrous consequences are felt by all. As so many lives are at stake, it is vital that each person who is in a position to take action avail themselves of this information to help protect our communities.”

Experts Speak Out About Psychotropic Drugs, Violence & Suicide

Some of the information the report covers:

  •  An Australian judge said an antidepressant was the “overwhelmingly probable” reason for turning a peaceful, law-abiding man into a brutal killer of his wife.[1]
  • A Wyoming jury awarded $8 million to the relatives of a man who, with no history of aggressive or suicidal behavior, went on a shooting rampage killing three family members after taking an antidepressant. The jury determined that the drug was 80 percent responsible for the crime and “can cause some people to become homicidal and/or suicidal.”[2]
  • A Harvard Medical school psychiatrist says: “The irritability and impulsivity” from antidepressants “can make people suicidal or homicidal.”[3]
  • An affiliate professor of Biology at Loyola University Maryland says: The link between antidepressants and violence, including suicide and homicide, is well-established.”[4]
  • A leading international psychopharmacology expert and professor of psychiatry reports: “Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best-kept secret.”[5] He also believes that an estimated 90 percent of school shootings, over more than a decade, were linked to SSRI antidepressants.[6]
  • 27 international drug agency warnings link psychiatric drugs to the adverse effects of violence, mania, psychosis or homicidal ideation; 49 warn of self-harm or suicide/suicidal ideation and 17 report addiction or withdrawal effects.[7]
  • The Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has at least 1,530 cases of homicide/homicidal ideation associated with psychiatric drugs.
  • Researchers took the FDA ADR data and identified 25 psychotropic drugs that are disproportionately associated with violence.[8]
  • A New York forensic psychologist says that most of the young murderers he has personally examined had been “in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence….”[9]

Drug Withdrawal Effects Create Havoc

  • The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry in the UK has determined: “Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs can be disabling and can cause a range of severe physical and psychological effects which often last for months and sometimes years….” [emphasis added][10] 
  • A study in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reported: “It is now accepted that all major classes of psychiatric medication produce distinctive withdrawal effects….”[11]
  • Withdrawal effects from sedative hypnotics, also known as benzodiazepines, can last weeks and sometimes months or years, and include increased anxiety, perceptual distortions, depersonalization, paranoid thoughts, rage, aggression, and irritability, according to leading British expert with the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne.[12]

Psychiatric Drug-Induced “Suicide by Cop”

Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D., head of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, says there is a whole new vocabulary today as a result of widespread antidepressant use, with terms such as “road rage,” “murder/suicide,” “going postal” and “suicide by cop.”[13] For example, a suicidal veteran fired 11 shots during an encounter with police in Spokane, Washington, admitting during his trial that he had unloaded his gun (in the air) before walking out into the alley where he intended to provoke the police to shoot him as part of a “suicide by cop” plan. He’d been prescribed an antidepressant documented to cause suicidal thoughts.[14]

CCHR is clear that not every violent killer has been on or withdrawing from a psychotropic drug at the time of committing a crime, but in many cases such drugs emerge when learning of the killer’s background. “It begs the question whether in taking the drug or when the drug or other treatment failed them, did this help propel them on a path towards the destruction of others?” the report poses.

CCHR says that in any official response to the Vegas concert shooting, Texas Church Shooter and Parkland Florida school shooting, LEOs, educators and legislators should not lose sight of the fact that there is a driving force behind someone picking up a gun, knife or even making a bomb to carry out violent and deadly acts. And there is sufficient evidence to investigate the role of prescribed mind-altering drugs in inducing altered states of mind in a percentage of people taking these drugs.

Some of the recommendations in the report include:

  • Legislative hearings should be held to fully investigate the correlation between psychiatric treatment and violence and suicide.
  • Toxicology testing for psychiatric drugs should be mandatory in cases where someone has committed a mass shooting or other serious violent crime, the information from which would become part of a national database that all branches and levels of law enforcement could access.

Eastgate summarizes: “The information in this report is not to excuse violent crimes and make the perpetrator blameless, but to demonstrate why there may be a much different type of violent behavior that police and the community face today compared to 50 years ago. All psychotropic drugs are called that because they are mind-altering or mind-turning. For some of those taking them, the consequences can be serious for them and the community. CCHR wants to educate as many officials and educators as possible in launching this report.”

CCHR Urges: Take Action Against Violence in Our Schools and Community

Law Enforcement Officers and School Officials wishing a free printed copy of: Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide: School Shootings & Other Acts of Senseless Violence can email or contact Amber Rauscher at (323) 467-4242.


[1] Sarah Boseley, “Prozac class drug blamed for killing,” The Guardian (London), 2 May 2001,

[2] Jim Rosack, “SSRIs Called on Carpet Over Violence Claims,” Psychiatric News, Vol. 36, No. 19, 5 Oct. 2001; David Healy,Andrew Herxheimer, and David B Menkes, “Antidepressants and Violence: Problems at the Interface of Medicine and Law,” PLoS Medicine, Sept. 2006, 3(9): e372,

[3] “FDA Mulls Antidepressant Warnings,” Daily Press, 21 Mar. 2004,

[4] Patrick D. Hahn, “Antidepressants: a deadly treatment?,” Baltimore Sun, 11 Apr. 2015,

[5] John Horgan, “What ‘60 Minutes’ Gets Wrong in Report on Mental Illness and Violence,” Scientific American, 2 Oct. 2013,

[6] “Psych meds linked to 90% of school shootings, WND, 18 Dec. 2012,


[8] Thomas J. Moore, Joseph Glenmullen, Curt D. Furbert, “Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others,” Public Library of Science ONE, Vol. 5, Iss. 12, Dec. 2010,

[9] David Kirschner, Ph.D., “Mass shooters received only limited treatment,” The National Psychologist, 10 Sep 2014,

[10] “Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs can be disabling and can cause a range of severe physical and psychological effects…,” Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry, 15 Mar. 2015,

[11] Joanna Moncrieff, M.B.B.S., David Cohen, and Sally Porter, “The Psychoactive Effects of Psychiatric Medication: The Elephant in the Room,” J Psychoactive Drugs, Nov. 2013; 45(5): 409–415,

[12] C. Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP, “Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw,” Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2002,

[13] Ann Blake Tracy, “Suicide & Death Can Lurk in Each SSRI Pill,”

[14] “Man seeking ‘suicide by cop’ found guilty of assault,” The Spokane-Review, 11 Feb. 2016,; Jeff Humphrey, “Army vet gets nine years for suicide by cop attempt,” KXLY, 3 Mar. 2016,

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22 Mar

Mental Health Fraud is a Booming Business in Florida

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to investigating and exposing abusive and fraudulent psychiatric practices in the mental health industry, is bringing attention to the need for an effective system to verify mental health billing validity and, therefore, stop what is viewed as an epidemic in the area of insurance billing fraud.

Florida remains one of the top states for mental health insurance fraud. Recently, Sam Konell, a longtime liaison between mental health clinics and Miami-Dade’s criminal court, was sentenced on February 22nd to 5 years in prison for funneling state-court defendants to a corrupt clinic. One clinic, the Greater Miami Behavioral Healthcare Center, fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $63 million in exchange for personal kickbacks to Konell’s pocket. In fact, Konell personally profited an extra $432,829 (on top of his regular salary), costing taxpayers an estimated $25 million.[1]

In October 2017, Shawn Thorpe, President of Coastal Bay Behavioral Health in Jacksonville, faced charges for $1.4 million in Medicaid fraud. Thorpe partnered with Ruben McLain, a man who secretly operated under a false name since he was already banned from Medicaid remuneration due to earlier fraud crimes. Thorpe and McLain knew each other for years before they developed their partnership, yet it took $1.4 million of theft before authorities caught on. Worse still, Philip Esformes, owner of over 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities, stole $1 billion from taxpayers together with a hospital administrator and physician’s assistant. Their elaborate billing fraud scheme was the largest ever brought before the U.S. Justice Department.[2][3]

“Florida’s well documented history of health care fraud, including that of mental health, necessitates a better system for detecting and preventing fraud,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “Millions of dollars are stolen from taxpayers before anyone gets caught, not to mention thousands of vulnerable patients are abused like cash cows to profit unscrupulous administrators and criminal clinicians.”

Florida’s involuntary examination law is another example of potential fraud given the fact that a person sent for examination, known as a Baker Act, can be held for up to 72 hours before it is determined whether they even met the criteria for incarceration in the first place and the psychiatric facility still bills insurance for the stay. There were more than 194,000 Baker Act initiations in Florida during fiscal year 2015/2016 and with a reported average length of stay at 4.5 days not only is Baker Acting hugely profitable but the possible insurance billing fraud could be in the tens of millions of dollars every year.[4][5]

The gray area of what constitutes mental illness and the vulnerability of mental health patients appears to contribute to the ease with which fraud can be committed. As a prime example the manual psychiatrists use, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, grows every year with new disorders that are largely voted into existence by popular opinion and void of any scientific basis yet these “disorders” all come with an insurance billing code so that the psychiatrist can label a person and get paid for controversial “mental illnesses” such as Caffeine Intoxication Disorder.[6][7]

“Without a better system altogether for detecting psychiatric insurance billing fraud Florida will see the epidemic of fraud continue and the taxpayer foot the bill,” said Stein.

For more information on psychiatric fraud or to report abuse please call CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820 or visit


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Nikolas Cruz, Florida Shooting Suspect
27 Feb

Psychiatric Drugs and School Shootings

Nikolas Cruz, Florida Shooting Suspect

Photo Credit:

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights(CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to investigating and exposing abusive psychiatric practices in the name of mental healing, is calling upon Florida lawmakers to first investigate the plausible link between psychiatric drugs and violence before taking the advice of mental health professionals to increase funding and amend the mental health law.

Recently the nation and the world was shaken by an act of lethal violence when Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 students and teachers. Although there can be many reasons for this horrific tragedy, CCHR warns that the prevalence of psychotropic drug use amongst America’s children may be driving a percentage of these young people to commit acts of violence.

For the past 20 years, CCHR has been investigating and exposing the correlation between mass murder, violent crime, suicide and psychiatric drugs. During this time CCHR has reported that those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs have committed at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence.[1] This correlation is not surprising when you consider that prescribed psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs, have been documented by 27 international drug regulatory agency warnings, including the U.S. FDA, to cause side effects of mania, hostility, violence, and even homicidal ideation in a percentage of those prescribed.[2]

The apparent link between psychiatric drug-violence is also frequently made public by law enforcement. It was the case with 12-year-old Jose Reyes, who opened fire at Sparks Middle School in Nevada in October 2013, killing a teacher and wounding two classmates before committing suicide. The police investigation revealed that he had been prescribed the generic form of the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) and had it in his system at the time of death.[3] It was also true for 15-year-old Hammad Memon, who shot and killed another student at his middle school in Huntsville, Alabama in February 2010. Memon had a history of treatment for ADHD and depression and was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions” and had been seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist.[4] And the story was the same for 15-year-old Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon who murdered his parents on the morning of May 21, 1998 before heading to school, where he killed two students and wounded another 25. Kinkel had been prescribed Prozac.

According to CCHR an investigation into the link is long overdue when you take into consideration that between 2004 and 2012 the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, known as MedWatch, received a staggering 14,773 reports of psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects, including 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania, and 8,219 cases of aggression.

“Throwing money at a mental health system that keeps failing and continues to use drugs that may induce violent and suicidal behavior in a percentage of those taking them will not prevent another tragedy,” stated Diane Stein, President of the Florida chapter of CCHR. “Cruz is a prime example of this failure – he was apparently medicated and in the mental health system but this did nothing to stop him.”[5]

Instead CCHR is urging Florida lawmakers to immediately look into the connection between psychiatric drugs and the deadly events that transpired in Parkland.[6]


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Stop Suicide
13 Feb

Study Reports that Suicide Risk Assessments May Increase the Risk of Suicide

Stop SuicideThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog that exposes human rights violations and is dedicated to the protection of children, is holding an open house this month at their center located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Avenue in downtown Clearwater to bring attention to alarming suicide statistics and the apparent connection between antidepressants and the reliance on suicide risk assessments.

Every 12 minutes in the U.S., someone’s life ends from suicide — an average of 44,965 people yearly — making it the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In 2015 alone, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide deaths were more than double those due to homicides, which means for every murder reported in the news, there were at least 2 other deaths that occurred due to suicide.

In response to these alarming statistics, the Florida chapter of CCHR is hosting an open house at their center in Clearwater for the purpose of educating the general public on the connection between the use of antidepressants, the reliance on suicide risk assessments and death by suicide.

“Too often people rely on unproven suicide risk assessments as a catchall when dealing with a person experiencing a crisis and unfortunately the assessments just don’t work according to some experts,” stated Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida.

According to an article published under Mental Health in Scientific American in March of 2017, new research of the past 40 years of suicide risk assessments research suggests that not only do these assessments not help but may cause harm by increasing the risk of suicide.

This same article reports that:

  • 95% of high-risk patients did not die by suicide
  • 50% of the suicides came from the lower risk categories
  • there has been no improvement in the accuracy of suicide risk assessments over the past 40 years
  • no statistical way of identifying individuals with a high risk of suicide exists
  • the four strongest suicide risk assessment factors (previous self-harm, physical health problems, male gender and suicidal intention) were so prevalent that they were of no use in determining if someone is at risk for suicide
  • the widespread use of suicide risk assessment diverts clinicians from real engagement with patients thereby potentially increasing the risks of suicide

Combined with ineffective suicide risk assessment, patients labeled with depression or suicidal ideation often receive prescriptions for dangerous psychotropic drugs laden, and even labeled, with side effects that encourage the exact symptoms they are marketed to treat. For example, Celexa, a common antidepressant, has more suicidal warnings attributed to it than any other side effect and is linked to a staggering 559 cases of documented suicide. Psychiatric patients who are prescribed these life-threatening psychiatric drugs not only receive no effective assessment or treatment, but they go home with pills that only exacerbate their mental health challenges.

“With 1 in 6 Americans currently taking psychotropic drugs — while suicides continue to rise — Americans need look no further than their medicine cabinets for major chemical contributors to the increased suicide statistics our country faces,” said Stein.

For more information on the open house, the truth about psychiatric drugs or alternative solutions including educational materials, please call CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820, or visit

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Who Speaks for the Child?
13 Feb

Mental Health Watchdog Continues to Fight for Children Who Remain Target of Baker Act Misuse

Who Speaks for the Child?The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog that exposes human rights violations and is dedicated to the protection of children, applauds the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department for taking action following the handcuffing of a 7-year-old Miami boy who was taken from his school, in a police car, to a psychiatric facility under the Baker Act just 11 days ago.

On January 25th, a 7-year-old had a temper tantrum at his school, the Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center in Miami, after being told to stop playing with his food. In response to his behavior, which included striking a teacher, the school’s administrators called the Miami-Dade police department to come arrest the boy and transport him to a psychiatric facility for involuntary evaluation citing the Baker Act as their process. Devastated, Mercy Alvarez — the boy’s mother — filmed her son being transported in handcuffs using her cell phone’s camera and shared it across social media.

The resultant public outcry prompted Chief Moffett of the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department to direct officers to first seek the approval of “a lieutenant or a higher-ranking official before deciding to remove and detain a disruptive student for a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital.” However, Chief Moffett was not the first member of law enforcement to take action to prevent the inappropriate Baker Acting of children in Florida. In September of 2017, Sheriff Jerry L. Demings of Orange County issued a General Order that specifically instructs the deputies in that county to make reasonable efforts to notify a child’s parents before initiating or executing a Baker Act.

“While we applaud Chief Moffett and Sheriff Demings for their actions to protect Florida’s children the only real solution is to amend the law so that parents are brought into the process,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “There is a bill in Tallahassee right now that would make this a reality and it is our hope that our lawmakers see fit to make this change.”

The Baker Acting of children for simple disciplinary problems is an all too common occurrence in Florida. The Baker Act is Florida’s mental health law, named after Maxine Baker — the former State Representative from Miami who sponsored the Act. Its main and original intent was to ensure patient rights and prevent abuse, but tens of thousands of Floridians, including children, are being victimized through inappropriate use of the Baker Act sending people to psychiatric facilities who may not even meet the criteria for involuntary examination. In fact, according to the Annual Report of Baker Act Data, revealed in March of 2017, 32,475 minors were sent for examination during the fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

In fact, on the very same day of the 7-year-old being handcuffed, a 10-year-old boy — just 15 miles away at Gulfstream Elementary in Miami — was begging his teachers not to call the Baker Act number when he became agitated for not wanting to do schoolwork at recess time. Having been nearly Baker Acted just 2 years prior, Kevin knew that “Baker Act” was synonymous with punishment. Thankfully, Kevin’s parents had rushed to the school just in time and effectively prevented him from being hand-cuffed and transported to a psychiatric facility.

Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that their children have been transported to a psychiatric facility until it’s too late for them to intervene. Once at a psychiatric facility the child can be held for up to 72 hours. During this examination period, children can be administered psychiatric medications with side effects including depression, suicidal ideation, heart problems, and violence if an emergency treatment order is issued.

Senate Bill 270, titled, “Involuntary Examination and Involuntary Admission of Minors”, if passed, would amend the Baker Act to “provide that a designated law enforcement agency may decline to transport a minor 14 years of age or younger to a receiving facility for involuntary examination if current law requirements for declining transport are met and the minor’s parent or guardian agrees to transport the minor to the receiving facility; provide specific criteria for taking a minor 14 years of age or younger to a receiving facility for involuntary examination, including consent of the minor’s parent or guardian; change the law so that the involuntary examination of a child must be initiated within 8 hours after the patient’s arrival at the facility and require that a receiving facility release a minor 14 years of age or younger without delay to the minor’s parent or guardian upon request of the parent or guardian.”

Any persons living in Florida who are interested in protecting children from abusive Baker Acting are encouraged to sign this petition to stop the involuntary examination of children without parental knowledge at

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13 Feb

CCHR Florida Exposes Psychiatric Ties to the Holocaust Using Acclaimed Documentary

HolocaustThe Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog organization dedicated exposing abuses in the field of mental health, co-hosted a complimentary dinner event in commemoration of International Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, January 26, 2018 with the Tampa Church of Scientology at the National Historic Landmark, Ybor Square, where those in attendance learned more about ties between psychiatry and the origination of the Holocaust.

Joined by international Israeli singer Ms. Judy Bechar, who performed a special song in memory of the victims of this horrific period in history, attendees discussed personal ties to the Holocaust and shared actions that can be taken to spread more awareness of tolerance after learning about psychiatry’s shocking role in the systematic murder of 6 million Jews as exposed in the documentary Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.

This documentary was the inspiration behind the creation of a permanent exhibit which presents the history of psychiatry as well as information on the state of psychiatry today using interviews with more than 160 doctors, attorneys, educators, survivors and experts on the mental health industry to shine the light of truth on the multi-billion dollar psychiatric industry. Located at the CCHR center in downtown Clearwater, almost 5,000 people have toured the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum since it opened in 2015 including elected officials, attorneys, psychiatric nursing students and concerned individuals from across the state. The 2-hour self-guided tour is free of charge and open to the general public 7 days a week.

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13 Feb

CCHR Florida To Host International Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration

HolocaustThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights(CCHR) of Florida, a nonprofit mental health watchdog organization dedicated to eradicating psychiatric abuses, will be participating in the International Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration on Friday, January 26, 2018 by hosting a dinner event to gather the community in remembrance of the Holocaust.

The systematic murder of around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, known commonly as the Holocaust, but also referred to as the Shoah, is commemorated each year on the day that the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Soviets, nearly 8 months before the official end of the war. The Holocaust Memorial Day, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, refers to various countries’ designated annual day of commemoration honoring the victims, survivors, and rescuers of the Holocaust during the Nazi German regime.

CCHR will be co-hosting a complimentary dinner event with the Tampa Church of Scientology at the National Historic Landmark, Ybor Square, located at 1300 E. 8th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605 on Friday, January 26, 2018. Open to everyone, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM, attendees will hear international Israeli singer, Ms. Judy Bechar, perform a special song, “My Yiddishe Momme,” in the memory of the victims. Ms. Bechar and CCHR Florida’s Executive Director, Samuel Guillard, will give a brief presentation that expands on the Holocaust, its origination, and the widespread impact it has on society even today.

In fact, before the Nazi regime even came to power, German psychiatrists proposed the extermination of mental health patients and developed processes and systems to murder patients by the thousands with euthanasia, including eugenically sterilizing patients. Then, during Nazi Germany’s reign, organized psychiatry operated 6 psychiatric facilities that aimed and succeeded in the killing of 100,000 German mental patients. These psychiatric facilities provided the training, personnel, and technologies to create the mass extermination camps for the Holocaust which ended up killing millions of Jews and other peoples that the Nazi psychiatrists deemed unworthy of life. Medical professionals who participated in the post-Holocaust Nuremberg trials concluded that the Holocaust would not have factually taken place without psychiatry’s influence and irreplaceable role.

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