The Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program, a supposed “nationally recognized program designed for middle and high school-age students” is being pushed nationally into many state governments.
Ironically, it’s about to be introduced into Newtown High School in Newtown, Ct. the town which suffered one of the worst school shooting in US history.
With the demise of the corrupt Teen Screen program, “Signs of Suicide” has risen to take its place as the mental health assessment of choice in middle schools and high schools around the country.
Signs of Suicide is produced and sold to schools by a non-profit organization called Screening for Mental Health.
Part of the program is a video shown to students teaching them to identify the supposed signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their school friends. It shows peers hearing statements like “I haven’t felt like doing anything lately and, on top of all that, Jen feels I’ve been talking about her behind her back. I just feel all alone.”
Spotting a suicide in the making, her friend encourages this girl to “talk to an adult” about it and escorts her down to see the school psychologist. It’s called the ACT® technique (Acknowledge, Care, Tell).
The next step, not shown in the video, is the prescription for an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug.
In Signs of Suicide, depressed and suicidal middle school and high school kids are ferreted out by filling out either a Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression (BSAD) test or a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) test
BSAD begins by saying it is a self-survey so you can check yourself for depression.
Here are the questions:
“1. In the last four weeks, has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything? Yes No
2. Do you have less energy than you usually do? Yes No
3. Do you feel you can’t do anything well or that you are not as good-looking or as smart as most other people? Yes No
4. Do you think seriously about killing yourself? Yes No
5. Have you tried to kill yourself in the last year? Yes No
6. Does doing even little things make you feel really tired? Yes No
7. In the last four weeks has it seemed like you couldn’t think as clearly or as fast as usual? Yes No”
“Your BSAD survey score will tell you whether you should see a school health professional (psychologist, nurse, counselor or social worker) for a follow-up discussion.”
And here is the meaning of the scores:
“0-2 It is unlikely that you have depression.
However, if you often have feelings of sadness you should talk to a trusted adult(parents/guardians/school staff person) to try to figure out what you should do.
Even though your score says that you are not depressed you might still want to talk to a healthcare professional if your feelings of sadness do not go away.
3 It is possible that you have depression.
You should talk with a healthcare professional. Tell a trusted adult (parent/guardian/school staff person) your concerns and ask if they could help you connect with a mental health professional.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, bring a friend with you. Tell the adult that you may be clinically depressed and that you might need to see a mental health professional.
4-7 It is likely that you have depression.
You probably have some significant symptoms of depression and you should talk to a mental health professional about these feelings. Tell a trusted adult (parent/guardian/school staff person) about your feelings and ask if they could help you see a mental health professional.
Questions 4 and 5
These two questions are about suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you answered “Yes” to
either question 4 or 5, you should see a mental health professional immediately – regardless of your total BSAD score.”
Questions 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 could apply to anyone who’s alive thus scoring a 5 which means likely you have depression! Even the lowest scores are directed toward the psychiatrist.
CES-DC is equally unreliable with questions like “I was bothered by things that usually don’t bother me”, “I did not feel like eating; I wasn’t very hungry”, “I felt like I couldn’t pay attention to what I was doing”, “I felt scared”, and “It was hard to get started doing things”.
Schools pay $395 for a High School Sign of Suicide Kit with DVD, $200 for a Booster Kit with DVD – a “refresher course” for high school juniors and seniors, and $175 for Signs of Self Injury Kit ($655 for combo of all three). But the big money behind Signs of Suicide is looking for increased drug sales.
If this is sounding too cynical, let’s look at the facts uncovered in Teen Screen and how these connect to its successor – Signs of Suicide.
Kay Beach writing on March 25, 2009 gathered a great deal of data together in an article called “Public Schools, Signs of Suicide with NEW FREEDOM for All”.
She followed the money that led to mental health assessments in public schools. Drug companies such as Pfizer, Roche, Wythe and GSK, along with a private investor, funneled money into the Columbia DISC Development Group. DISC meant the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. The purpose was to study the testing of children and the use of psychiatric drugs for children’s mental illness.
The Executive Director of this group was Dr. David Schaefer, a Columbia University psychiatrist one of the key creators of Teen Screen. After beating the band for Teen Screen for years he later stated “(Teen Screen)… does identify a whole bunch of kids who aren’t really suicidal, so you get a lot of false-positives. And that means if you’re running a large program at a school, you’re going to cripple the program because you’re going to have too many kids you have to do something about.”
When Shaffer was asked how he addresses people who question the dangers of prescribing to the false-positives, he said: “I think that standing by itself that criticism is meaningless because we don’t know what harm the antidepressants do, if any, and we don’t know who they do harm to”.
Meanwhile a woman named Laurie Flynn was heading up NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness funded by drug companies Wythe and Novartis. She went on to become the Executive Director of TeenScreen.
What was TeenScreen all about and why was it forced to dissolve?
These quotes from its Executive Director Laurie Flynn tell the story.
Laurie Flynn: “Now, here is something very important, in this day at this time, are we all familiar with the red states and the blue states? You need to know that the key to making stuff happen, ahh, in this day and age, is really what we might want to call, the green states. That is to say, the states where the key member, senator or member of the house, sits on a committee that appropriates money.”
“And those states become very important targets, and those localities become very important localities, so we wanted to be visible in those kinds of places. So here you see that not only was Florida a good place for us, because of Governor Bush and our friend Jim McDonough in the Office of Drug Control, but because there was a couple of key members of Congress without whose support, health legislation does not pass and does not get funded.”
Flynn: “We were also able to promote this by placing some public service advertisements in major newspapers as well as newspapers that go to Capitol Hill…”
“One of the things that we did was to mail a copy of our report ‘Catch Them Before They Fall’ and we mailed a model resolution, ahh, to all the 50 states, we sent this as a very friendly, ‘Here’s some information you might like to use since you’re on a health committee’ – we mailed it only to people who were in key committees – ‘you might like to have this resolution, to introduce the notion that every child should be screened for mental illness, at least once in their youth, in order to identify mental illness and prevent suicide.’ So we offered them up some language and some tools, and a surprising number of folks, in fact, introduced it exactly the way we sent it and made some real strides with it.”
The media and the public finally had enough of TeenScreen pushing dangerous pills on kids with tax payer money.
But something else was growing parallel to TeenScreen. The author shows us a photo of Bob Pitsal of Eli Lilly presenting a check on 18 Oct 2001 to Dr. Douglas Jacobs founder and director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
Dr. Jacobs is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the man who spearheaded the creation of the National Depression Screening Day in 1991.
His Screen for Mental Health, Inc. morphed into today’s non-profit Screening for Mental Health which currently sells the Signs of Suicide program – continuing the work of TeenScreen in another guise.
SMH also has been well funded by big pharma. In addition to the half-million dollar grant to SMH pictured above, there were more grants from Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Solvay, Abbott Labs, Wyeth, Forest Pharmaceuticals, The Robert Johnson Foundation, AstaZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. According to the actual tax returns and grant reports to SMH, drug companies have provided this program with at least $4,985,925.00 up to 2008. Eli Lilly alone has poured over $3,920,425.00 into the program from 1996 to 2008. The profits from selling drugs to kids must be enormous to justify such grants.
Kaye Branch after researching all this information discovered her child’s school was using Signs of Suicide. Looking deeper she found a form the school used that said if the parents didn’t agree and do the follow up in a timely manner, the Department of Human Services (Child Protective Services) would be notified! The school could do this even if the parents had not signed a form agreeing to the child’s testing. Needless to say, she kept her daughter from taking it and promoted informed consent to all the parents she could.
The financial theft and abuse is only one aspect of Signs of Suicide.
What about the potential of ignoring these “mental illnesses”? Some leading psychiatrists have answered this question.
“No behavior or misbehavior is a disease or can be a disease. That’s not what diseases are. Diseases are malfunctions of the human body, of the heart, the liver, the kidney, the brain. Typhoid fever is a disease. Spring fever is not a disease; it is a figure of speech, a metaphoric disease. All mental diseases are metaphoric diseases, misrepresented as real diseases and mistaken for real diseases.”
— Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus
“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “There is no definition of a mental disorder.” “It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman
“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biochemical imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?”
— Dr. Ron Leifer, Psychiatrist
“Virtually anyone at any given time can meet the criteria for bipolar disorder or ADHD. Anyone. And the problem is everyone diagnosed with even one of these ‘illnesses’ triggers the pill dispenser.”
— Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, Psychiatrist
“All psychiatrists have in common that when they are caught on camera or on microphone, they cower and admit that there are no such things as chemical imbalances/diseases, or examinations or tests for them. What they do in practice, lying in every instance, abrogating [revoking] the informed consent right of every patient and poisoning them in the name of ‘treatment’ is nothing short of criminal.”
— Dr Fred Baughman Jr., Pediatric Neurologist
And what are the facts about the drugs themselves?
There have been 99 drug regulatory agency warnings from ten countries (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Russia, Italy and Germany) and the European Union warning that antidepressant drugs cause side effects, and the major one is suicide/risk/attempts.
At least 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs).
Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the US FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects. Note: The FDA estimates that less than one percent of all serious events are ever reported to it, so the actual number of side effects occurring is most certainly higher.
Two psychiatrists, staunch critics of their profession, summed it up like this:
“Perhaps worst of all, these diagnoses almost inevitably lead to the prescription of psychiatric medication to you or your child. Psychiatric drugs are toxins to the brain; they work by disabling the brain.”
–Dr. Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist
“It’s not science. It’s politics and economics. That’s what psychiatry is: politics and economics. Behavior control, it is not science, it is not medicine.”
— Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus
In a welcome ray of hope the Green Party of Connecticut just hosted an event called “Moving Beyond Reaction to Reason: Mental Health and School Safety Post-Sandy Hook” on March 29, 2014.
Rolf Maurer is a former Stamford mayoral candidate and has said “The strong link between gun violence and psychiatric medications has been long established, especially with youths.” Maurer has said that in many cases, the suspects involved in mass shootings are either taking multiple medications or have abruptly stopped taking them.
“The psychiatric field is in the business of fabricating conditions,” said Maurer. “There are other options for people that are out there. It doesn’t have to just focus on medication.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be Sheila Matthews, co-founder of AbleChild.org, a Connecticut-based non-profit focused on psychiatric labeling of children and drug treatment prescribed to them.
The discussion covered the rights of parents and students as lawmakers ponder
implementing universal mental health screenings in schools.
Matthews, a Fairfield County resident, regularly testifies on state and federal levels in defense of psychiatric health freedom and has appeared in Time magazine, and on CNN and FOX.
The more often the truth about suicide screening and the psychiatric drugging of kids is told to the public the faster will grow the tide of demand to end it.