pharmaceutical industry's customer recruitment schemes used to boost the
sale of psychiatric drugs by tugging at heartstrings in promoting mental
health screening programs as suicide prevention tools.
On May 18, 2007, US House of Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), a
physician by calling, introduced a federal legislative bill HR 2387 that
would block federal funding for any mandatory mental health screening
programs. At last count, 12 other members of the House were listed as
co-sponsors of the bill.
First of all, contrary to the lie that the industry is trying to sell
the pubic, there is no epidemic of child suicides. There are roughly 50
million school-age children in this country, and according to the June
16, 2006, Washington Post, there were only 1,737 suicides by children
and adolescents in 2003, the last year for which national statistics are
In addition, experts have said over and over that screenings do not
work. A March 28, 2002 paper, "Suicide in the United States," by Jane
Pearson, PhD, chairman of the National Institute of Mental Health
Suicide Research Consortium at the time, states: "[W]hen researchers
have tried to predict suicide using as many known risk factors as
possible, they are still unable to predict who will and who will not
commit this act."