Columnist Dan Ruth ("The NRA of Cults Strikes Again, April 28) obtained an e-mail I wrote in which I discouraged a suicide "prevention" initiative - Senate Bill 224.
The reason is simple. The pharmaceutical industry salivates over suicide "prevention" programs, such as the very controversial and unscientific TeenScreen program, whose advisory board has major pharmaceutical ties. (Google TeenScreen, folks!) TeenScreen admits a percentage of kids screened will wind up on psychiatric drugs that can increase suicide risk.
The tax records of the backers of another suicide "prevention" program called Signs of Suicide reveal millions in pharmaceutical funding.
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) pushes suicide screening of children nationwide and receives millions in drug money. Eli Lilly gave NAMI $544,500 in the first quarter of this year alone. NAMI is on the "coordinating council" named in Senate Bill 224.
Ruth's cheap shot that I am opposed to suicide prevention is a bonafide lie. Ruth said I did not respond to questions he submitted. Although he had my e-mail, he chose not to write to me directly. I finally received his correspondence after his column appeared.
Ruth failed to mention from my e-mail: "The Office of Drug Control is tasked with limiting the devastation of substance abuse in Florida. Ironically, the Office of Drug Control has vigorously pushed TeenScreen in various parts of Florida but so far has failed. The Office of Drug Control even lists TeenScreen on their Web site: The former head of the Florida Office of Drug Control, James McDonough, is listed on TeenScreen's national advisory board."
In Senate Bill 2800, The Florida Mental Health Institute is slated to receive $400,000 for a statewide suicide "prevention" program. FMHI estimates they will need an additional $11.8 million. They are intent on implementing unproven child suicide screening, despite the fact that they've already failed to implement TeenScreen in Florida schools, including Pinellas and Hillsborough, because of the concerns of parents and school officials.
I analyzed every autopsy and toxicology report on every single child suicide in the state of Florida from 2000 to 2004. The majority had already received psychiatric treatment - consistent with FDA warnings that these drugs can cause mania, suicide, psychosis, worsening depression and even homicidal thoughts. Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech is no surprise.
Everyone should get educated at the very least on the FDA black box warning: "Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents." This FDA warning alone should be a wake-up call for any true suicide prevention effort.
I, along with countless others, oppose the mass drugging of children. Ruth's ignorant attempt to dehumanize my friends, concerned parents and myself is bald-faced bigotry and is not becoming of The Tampa Tribune.