Could Hope Witsell’s suicide have been prevented? The mental health counseling she received without her parent’s knowledge is an example of the dangers inherent in leaving parents out of the picture.
Hope’s story is an excruciating tale of bullying by her classmates after she had texted a partially nude photo of herself to a boy she was interested in. The photo was intercepted by someone who took it upon himself to distribute the photo to other young people. Consequently, she was harassed relentlessly.
Michael Inbar of Today People reports “On Sept. 11, Hope met with school counselors, who noticed cuts on Hope’s leg they believed to be self-inflicted. They had her sign a ‘no-harm contract,’ in which she promised to talk to an adult if she felt the urge to hurt herself. But, attorney Aftab told TODAY, the school didn’t inform Hope’s parents of the contract. ‘In this case, the school blew it,’ Aftab said. ‘They never told the parents how at risk she was.”
Should parents be informed and involved in their child’s mental health treatment? What would obviously have been a “yes, of course” answer in years past, has become skewed by the mental health profession’s “know best” attitude today.
The controversial TeenScreen was developed from President George Bush’s establishment of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC) in 2002. Its purpose was to study and make recommendations regarding the mental health delivery system in the U.S. Not surprisingly, the members of this group were highly connected to the nation’s largest drug companies. 1
Dr. Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., FACAPP, declares “The main instrument used in the schools and agencies to ‘identify’ children in need of psychiatric services is TeenScreen, which is a checklist specifically geared to match criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) DSM IV, a manual of ‘symptoms’ and diagnostic categories voted into existence by the APA.”
The DSM identifies several mental disorders; one of them is suicidality. It is important to note that each of the mental health disorders listed in the DSM have no biological test to evidence their existence. These disorders are actually voted upon by psychiatrists, themselves.
Dr. Ross continues “The questions on the test are ‘loaded.’ They are designed to plant the seeds of mental illness criteria and make an adolescent feel that normal, everyday feelings and thoughts are abnormal. For example: ‘In the past year, has there been any time when you weren’t interested or involved with anything?’ (How many of you were interested for 365 days in a row?) ‘In the last year, has there been any situation when you had less energy than usual?’ (Who can honestly answer ‘no’ to that?)
“TeenScreen’s extremely high false positive rate makes the test virtually useless as a diagnostic instrument. One study, completed by the creators of the test themselves, found an 82% false positive rate, meaning that if 100 adolescents scored in the diagnosable range, 82 of them would be flagged as having some mental illness without having any real problems. A Ouija board would only produce a 50% false positive result.”
The subject of Informed Consent is applicable. Parents have the right to decline this testing.
Michael and Teresa Rhoades sued their daughter’s high school in Indiana when TeenScreen was administered to 15 year old Chelsea without their consent. The Rutherford Institute News reports “A federal court has given the green light to a civil rights lawsuit filed by Rutherford Institute attorneys in defense of a 15-year-old Indiana student who was subjected by school officials to a controversial mental health examination without the knowledge or consent of her parents. In ruling that the lawsuit filed on behalf of Chelsea Rhoades and her parents, Teresa and Michael, may proceed to trial, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana upheld the claims that the local school district deprived the Rhoades family of their federal constitutional rights to family integrity and privacy when it subjected Chelsea to the ‘TeenScreen’ examination.2
We as parents and grandparents are responsible for our children and their physical and mental health. The Rhoades are applauded for holding to that basic right, and defending the welfare of their daughter against the vested interests of Big Pharma and the Mental Health profession.
Suicide in the young is a heartbreaking phenomenon. But treating it with without the consent of parents, and insisting that dangerous antipsychotic drugs be administered as a solution is unconscionable.
The suicide of young Gabriel Myers is a case in point. At the tender age of 7, this foster child was prescribed a cocktail of psychiatric drugs, leading to his tragic death. An investigation was conducted, and it was discovered that 13% of all foster children are on such drugs, comparing to 5% of children in the general population.
Using the defenseless child as a moneymaker for big pharma goes beyond criminal. It is nothing short of evil. 3