Tag Archives: Mental

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Canadian Mobile Application Launched to Support Mental Health Services in Ukraine


Ottawa, Canada (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

The Canada Ukraine Foundation today announced the launch of their mobile application (http://dopomoga.life) to provide mental health resources for soldiers, veterans, their families and the Ukrainian people at large who are exposed to mental health trauma associated with the military conflict. The application was developed in Ukrainian with content provided by the Operation Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic of the Royal Mental Health Centre of Ottawa to permit these individuals to self-assess and find support for critical mental health issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and sleep issues.

Launched as “Mobilna Psychologichna Dopomoga” (Мобільна Психологічна Допомога), which means mobile psychological assistance in Ukrainian, the mobile application was developed as an expandable portal of information, with a series of assessment surveys that allows users to privately and discretely determine the type of referral they may need, and where they might be able to find those clinics and services in their region. Filled with additional resources, not only for clients, but also for health care professionals, the goal is to drive rapid diagnosis and allow users to find the help they need. Funded by the Canada Ukraine Foundation, the application is based on the OSI Clinic Network mobile application developed by Veteran Affairs Canada in concert with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

“The goal of this application is to get mental health trauma awareness information into the pockets of Ukrainian people and connect them to the resources they need as quickly as possible,” said Victor Hetmanczuk, President of the Canada Ukraine Foundation. “By recognizing the signs of potential mental disorder as early as possible, we can help prevent it and provide necessary professional assistance as quickly as possible.”

The mobile application was developed by Purple Forge the leading provider of mobile applications to governments and public agencies in North America. The applications were developed with using a state-of-the-art mobile application content management system that will allow the applications to be updated on the fly by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation to share the latest content and information as it becomes available for users.

“It was critical to build the application rapidly due to the increasingly pressing mental health needs of veterans of the Ukrainian conflict,” said John Craig, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Purple Forge. “Mobile is also the ideal way to deliver these services, making it accessible across Ukraine on the devices used most frequently to access the Internet.”

About the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF)

The Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was established at the 18th Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) in order to coordinate, develop, organize and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine. CUF assists in the development of a democratic nation with a civil society that maintains and develops culture, tradition and language in Ukraine by strengthening strategic partnerships in Canada and Ukraine.

Contact:Victor Hetmanczuk, vhetmanczuk(at)bell(dot)net

About Purple Forge

Purple Forge sells subscription based services to organizations looking to engage their stakeholders using the latest mobile application technology and leveraging community engagement and social networking best practices. Purple Forge is an award-winning firm led by seasoned mobile communications and Internet technology veterans. Our mobile applications allow organizations to broadcast, share and receive feedback from their target audience real-time, allowing them to foster long-term, engaged relationships.







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Mental Health Watchdog Applauds New Mexico Lawmakers for Protecting Children from Forced Psychotropic Drugging


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

In a new article, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the mental health watchdog, applauds New Mexico lawmakers for taking a big step toward protecting children’s and parents’ rights when, last week, Governor Susana Martinez signed into law House Bill 53 ensuring that a parent’s decision not to administer psychotropic drugs to a child is not grounds for a child being removed from parental custody by Child Protective Services (CPS).[1]

And the legislation goes deeper. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Nora Espinoza, also restricts school personnel from taking any action against the parent or compelling or requiring any student to take a psychotropic drug and, further, requires written parental consent prior to any psychological screening.[1]

CCHR stated, “It’s encouraging that New Mexico is taking its place among a growing list of states taking protective actions on behalf of children and parental rights.”

In light of the 8.4 million children currently being prescribed psychiatric drugs in the United States, CCHR asserts that states must strive to protect parents from being forced by CPS or pressured by school personnel to administer these drugs to their child.[2] To date, thirteen states, including the recently enacted legislation in New Mexico, have passed legislation addressing parental rights as they pertain to refusing psychiatric drugs, restricting removal of children by CPS based solely on the parent’s refusal to administer psychiatric drugs to a child and coercion of parents to submit their child to mental health screening. These states include:


    Florida and Colorado both have passed laws providing enhanced rights to parents, including the right to refuse psychiatric testing/screening and/or provide written consent prior to any screening and, further, to prohibit school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or make it so the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to their child is not a condition of the child attending school.[3]

    Most notably, Florida currently has a bill (HB 209) that directly addresses psychiatry’s diagnosing manual, stating that before a student is evaluated for the purpose of diagnosing the child with any disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the parent shall be notified of all of the following:

    The behaviors prompting the evaluation could be the result of underlying physical conditions.

    The parent should consider consulting a medical doctor to rule out physical causes.

    The parent has the right to decline the evaluation.

    The evaluation and subsequent classification or placement may be documented on the student’s cumulative record.[4]

    Five states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, have passed legislation prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or prohibiting the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to a child from being a condition of the student attending school.[5]

    Additionally, Utah, New Hampshire, Arizona and now New Mexico, have enacted legislation protecting parents from having their children removed by CPS based on the grounds of medical neglect for refusing to administer a psychiatric drug to their child.[6]

    In Michigan, in response to the well-publicized case of the harrowing armed assault against Maryanne Godboldo for refusing to drug her daughter, the Department of Children and Families changed its policy, reflecting the public outcry and stating “CPS is not responsible for investigating complaints that allege parents are failing or refusing to provide their children with psychotropic medication such as Ritalin.”[7]

CCHR says, “That Florida is the first state to specifically address psychiatry’s diagnostic manual is of note and a primer for future legislative action—a first step in initiating a much-needed conversation about the increased psychiatric diagnosing and administering of psychiatric drugs to America’s children.”

Read the full article here.

About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

References:

[1] House Bill 53, “No Compelled Medication Use for Students,” New Mexico 2015 Regular Session, April 7, 2015, nmlegis.gov/Sessions/15%20Regular/final/HB0053.pdf.

[2] IMS, Vector One: National (VONA) and Total Patient Tracker (TPT) Database, Years 2008-2013, Extracted 2014, cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/children-on-psychiatric-drugs/.

[3] Senate Bill 1766, “An Act Relating to Administration of Medication to Public School Students,” Florida Legislature, 2005 Regular Session, leg.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/view_page.pl?Tab=session&Submenu=1&FT=D&File=sb1766c1.html&Directory=session/2005/Senate/bills/billtext/html/; House Bill 03-1172, “An Act Concerning School Board Policies Covering When Personnel May Address Health Care Treatment for Student Behavior Issues,” Colorado Legislature, Session Laws of Colorado 2003, June 5, 2003, tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2003a/sl_387.htm.

[4] House Bill 209, “An Act Relating to Administration of Medication to Public School Students,” Florida Legislature, 2005, myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0209er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0209&Session=2005.

[5] House Bill 3744, “An Act Concerning Schools,” Illinois Legislature, 92nd General Assembly, ilga.gov/legislation/legisnet92/hbgroups/hb/920HB3744LV.html; House Bill 478, “A Bill for an Act Relating to Education,” Minnesota Legislature, 82nd Legislature (2001-2002), revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF0478&session=ls82&version=list&session_number=0&session_year=2001; Senate Bill 456, “An Act Relating to Students,” Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2003 Regular Session, cchrint.org/pdfs/oregon-sb-456.pdf; House Bill 320, “An Act Relating to the Refusal to Administer or Consent to the Administration of Certain Psychiatric or Psychological Treatment to a Child…,” Texas Legislature, capitol.state.tx.us/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=78RHB003205B&QueryText=%22320%22&DocType=B; House Bill 1406, “An Act Relating to a Recommendation by a School District Employee Concerning a Use of a Psychotropic Drug by a Student…,” Texas Legislature, capitol.state.tx.us/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=78RHB014065B&QueryText=%221406%22&DocType=B; House Bill 90, “An Act to Amend the Code of Virginia by Adding a Section Numbered 22.1-274.3, Relating to Certain Medication Recommendations by School Personnel,” Virginia Legislature, 2002 Session, lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?021+ful+CHAP0314.

[6] House Bill 170, “Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs or Medication,” Utah Legislature, 2001 General Session, le.utah.gov/~2001/bills/hbillint/HB0170.pdf; House Bill 551, “An Act Relative to the Effect of Parental Refusal to Administer Psychotropic Drugs to their Children…,” New Hampshire Legislature, 2004 Session, gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2004/HB0551.html; House Bill 2024, “An Act Amending Sections 8-201 and 8-201.01,” Arizona Legislature, Second Special Session 2003, azleg.gov/legtext/46leg/2s/laws/0006.pdf.

[7] State of Michigan Department of Human Services, “Mandated Reporter’s Guide,” DHS Pub 112 (Rev. 2-13), michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub-112_179456_7.pdf; Case No. 11057748-01, 36 District Court, Detroit, Michigan, filed 03/27/2011; Heather Catallo, “Mom Who Chose to Take Daughter Off Medication Files Lawsuit…,” ABC 7, WXYZ Detroit, 10 May 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis.







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Two Soldiers Prescribed 54 Drugs: Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) October 31, 2012

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)

“The devastating adverse effects mind-altering psychiatric drugs may be having on the nation’s military troops are best summed up by Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, writing ‘nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.’

“Just as the fictional character, Dr. Frankenstein, turned to experiments in the laboratory to create life with fantastically horrific results, the psychiatric community, along with its pharmaceutical sidekicks, has turned to modern day chemical concoctions to alter the human mind. The result is what many believe is a growing number of equally hideous results culminating in senseless deaths, tormented lives and grief-stricken families.

“The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers and seemingly healthy soldiers are dying from sudden unexplained deaths. That’s a fact. The data are clear, yet, despite growing evidence pointing to the enemy among us, the monstrous psycho-pharmacological experiment continues.”

In the second installment of a four-part series, O’Meara examines the sudden unexplained deaths within the military tied to psychiatric drug use, including two soldiers who between them, were prescribed a whopping 54 drugs including Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft, Ativan, Celexa, Cymbalta, Depakote, Haldol, Klonopin, Lexapro, Lithium, Lunesta, Compazine, Desyrel, Trileptal and Valium.


Marine corporal Andrew White, was a healthy 23-year-old, gung-ho Marine returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq, who, like so many of his brothers in arms, suffered from the seemingly normal stresses of war – insomnia, nightmares and restlessness. The young corporal turned to the military’s mental health system for help. But eleven months after beginning his first cocktail of mind-altering psychiatric drugs, he died in his sleep from what the medical examiner ruled an “accidental overdose of medication.” Since taking his first multi-drug cocktail to the date of his death, White had been prescribed no less than nineteen different drugs with many at ever-increasing dosages.

Twenty-three -year old Anthony (Tony) Mena had completed two tours in Iraq as part of Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377th Security Forces Squadron. Like so many others returning from combat, Mena suffered from insomnia, restlessness and nightmares—and like Andrew White, became a victim of the military’s mental health mind-altering multi-drug approach to treatment. Between January of 2008 and his death in July 2009, Mena had been prescribed no less than 35 prescription drugs, including numerous antidepressants, pain killers, tranquilizers and muscle relaxers.

O’Meara details how these two men exemplify the ever-increasing numbers of young, seemingly healthy soldiers who survived the horrors of war only to return home to fight, and lose, their toughest battle. They are among a growing list of sudden deaths among military personnel, which many believe is due to sudden cardiac arrest brought on by the drug cocktails being prescribed. Fred Baughman Jr., MD, who has been researching these questionable deaths, believes that the few that are known are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Kelly Patricia O’Meara is a book author and former award winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times, Insight Magazine. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

Read the full article here.

Read the previous article, Psychiatric Drugs & War: A Suicide Mission here.

Visit CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects database, comprising summaries of all international drug regulatory warnings, studies, and more than 470,000 adverse reaction reports filed with the US FDA.

CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.







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Teen Writing Contest About Mental Health Issues Gets Support From Published Authors Donating Autographed Books Reports StageofLife.com


Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Online writing community, StageofLife.com, announced today that eleven, internationally published authors will be donating an autographed copy of their book as part of the winning prize packages for the teen finalists of the website’s “March Madness” writing contest dealing with mental health issues.

As an educational resource, StageofLife.com’s mission is to change the world through storytelling, and its award-winning, blogging platform welcomes close to a million teens, college students, teachers, and parents each year who come to the site to read and share their personal, real-life stories.

The site often collaborates with authors based on the topics of its writing prompts.

“We are overwhelmed at the support by the professional writing community as they donate autographed copies of their books for this month’s writing contest on mental illness and health,” said Rebecca Thiegs, VP of Education StageofLife.com.

Participating authors who are donating a signed copy of their book on mental health as a prize to the winning “March Madness” contest finalists include:

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” (Simon & Schuster)

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life” (Mariner Books)

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” (Avery Trade)

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself” (W.W. Norton & Company)

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness” (Hyperion)

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope” (iUniverse)

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder” and “Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia” (Goodman Beck Publishing)

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner)

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia” (St. Martin’s Griffin)

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (Thomas Dunne Books)

When asked about her participation with Stage of Life writing contest, author Stacy Pershall said, “Every time you come out to one person as having a mental health disorder, you change the world. Eliminating stigma happens one person at a time. Just giving someone the vocabulary to address what’s happening to them — for example anorexia, bulimia, self-harm — is a powerful thing…Before I got the right treatment, I was certain I’d die by suicide; it was just a matter of time. Now it’s not all about me. I have to stay alive so I can keep other people alive. Killing myself has ceased to be an option.”

Thiegs added that “People don’t talk about mental health issues or mental illness because of the shame and brokenness surrounding the topic, so this month, while much of the world watches the March Madness college basketball tournament, we want to encourage people to think, write and share a story surrounding the topic of mental health and mental illness.”

Alongside its “March Madness” writing contest, StageofLife.com features educational videos, recommended TED talks, resource reading on mental illness, and a Twitter contest awareness component.

Melody Moezzi, author of “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” told StageofLife.com that, “Sharing our stories as people living with mental illness is by far the most powerful way to fight stigma and discrimination. It’s our best weapon against the insidious culture of shame and silence that surrounds mental illness today.”

The StageofLife.com essay contest is open to anyone aged 13 years and older. Stories must be original, non-fiction, and 500 words or less. There is no entry fee and submissions are due March 31, 2014 by midnight Pacific Time US.

In addition to receiving a signed book, the 1st Place student writer will also receive gift cards from literacy sponsors IHOP and Papa John’s while the 1st Place adult writer will receive gift cards from Applebee’s and SpaWeek.

Finalists and Winners will be posted on the essay winner’s page and Teen Trend Report after April 20th, 2014.

To get details and submit a story to the March Madness writing contest, visit http://www.StageofLife.com.







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86% of Teenagers Know Someone Who Suffers from a Mental Illness, Reports Stageoflife.com


York, PA (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

To understand the relationship between teens and mental illness, StageofLife.com asked thousands of high school and college students to take its national poll about mental health issues as part of its monthly writing contests and life surveys.

The results revealed the following statistics about teenagers and mental illness:

–1 out of 2 teens state they have personally struggled with mental illness at some point in their lives.

–Depression and Anxiety ranked #1 and #2 respectively as the most common mental illness suffered by students.

–86% of teenagers say they know someone who suffers from a mental illness.

–46% of students say they have “contemplated” suicide.

–86.5% of students say that mental health issues are an “important” or “very important” topic for the country.

–84.5% of teens think that there is a negative stigma surrounding those with mental illness.

–Half of all teens say classmates and friends are mostly compassionate about those with mental illness.

–73% of high school and college students know someone who is taking medication because of a mental health issue.

Over 5,100 students visited the essay and survey page during the mental health writing prompt and over 400 teens fully answered the poll. An additional 180+ teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing their personal story will mental illness.

The winning 1st place student essay, “Fibs and Femurs for Dinner” was written by Emily Bromberg, a junior attending Long Beach High School on Long Island, NY who shared her story of struggling to stay healthy. The winning 1st place non-student essay was submitted by special education teacher, Lauren Bauer from Raleigh, NC in her story, “Alone.”

Stage of Life selected a winner from its “Short Short Story” Twitter contest, which also tied into the mental illness writing prompt. The winning Tweet came from ‏‏@sopxhia who wrote, “Depression is being trapped in my labyrinth of thoughts and having no light to guide my way through the twists of the maze.”

Winners from the writing and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee’s, IHOP, Papa John’s, and SpaWeek.com.

Additionally, the top 12 essay finalists received an autographed copy of a book signed by a nationally published author.

The participating authors who donated a signed book as a prize for the Stage of Life writing contest included…

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness”

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life”

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life”

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself”

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope”

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder and Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia”

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia”

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

StageofLife.com VP of Education, Rebecca Thiegs, said, “We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.”

To read all of the essays about mental illness and download the full teen statistics report on this and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

# # #

StageofLife.com is a privately funded, start-up company founded in 2009 by Joe and Eric Thiegs. The website’s mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor last year and provides an international writing community, resources, videos, statistics, and more for today’s teen, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomer generations.







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Two Soldiers Prescribed 54 Drugs: Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) October 31, 2012

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)

“The devastating adverse effects mind-altering psychiatric drugs may be having on the nation’s military troops are best summed up by Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, writing ‘nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.’

“Just as the fictional character, Dr. Frankenstein, turned to experiments in the laboratory to create life with fantastically horrific results, the psychiatric community, along with its pharmaceutical sidekicks, has turned to modern day chemical concoctions to alter the human mind. The result is what many believe is a growing number of equally hideous results culminating in senseless deaths, tormented lives and grief-stricken families.

“The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers and seemingly healthy soldiers are dying from sudden unexplained deaths. That’s a fact. The data are clear, yet, despite growing evidence pointing to the enemy among us, the monstrous psycho-pharmacological experiment continues.”

In the second installment of a four-part series, O’Meara examines the sudden unexplained deaths within the military tied to psychiatric drug use, including two soldiers who between them, were prescribed a whopping 54 drugs including Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft, Ativan, Celexa, Cymbalta, Depakote, Haldol, Klonopin, Lexapro, Lithium, Lunesta, Compazine, Desyrel, Trileptal and Valium.


Marine corporal Andrew White, was a healthy 23-year-old, gung-ho Marine returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq, who, like so many of his brothers in arms, suffered from the seemingly normal stresses of war – insomnia, nightmares and restlessness. The young corporal turned to the military’s mental health system for help. But eleven months after beginning his first cocktail of mind-altering psychiatric drugs, he died in his sleep from what the medical examiner ruled an “accidental overdose of medication.” Since taking his first multi-drug cocktail to the date of his death, White had been prescribed no less than nineteen different drugs with many at ever-increasing dosages.

Twenty-three -year old Anthony (Tony) Mena had completed two tours in Iraq as part of Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377th Security Forces Squadron. Like so many others returning from combat, Mena suffered from insomnia, restlessness and nightmares—and like Andrew White, became a victim of the military’s mental health mind-altering multi-drug approach to treatment. Between January of 2008 and his death in July 2009, Mena had been prescribed no less than 35 prescription drugs, including numerous antidepressants, pain killers, tranquilizers and muscle relaxers.

O’Meara details how these two men exemplify the ever-increasing numbers of young, seemingly healthy soldiers who survived the horrors of war only to return home to fight, and lose, their toughest battle. They are among a growing list of sudden deaths among military personnel, which many believe is due to sudden cardiac arrest brought on by the drug cocktails being prescribed. Fred Baughman Jr., MD, who has been researching these questionable deaths, believes that the few that are known are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Kelly Patricia O’Meara is a book author and former award winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times, Insight Magazine. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

Read the full article here.

Read the previous article, Psychiatric Drugs & War: A Suicide Mission here.

Visit CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects database, comprising summaries of all international drug regulatory warnings, studies, and more than 470,000 adverse reaction reports filed with the US FDA.

CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.







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Teen Writing Contest About Mental Health Issues Gets Support From Published Authors Donating Autographed Books Reports StageofLife.com


Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Online writing community, StageofLife.com, announced today that eleven, internationally published authors will be donating an autographed copy of their book as part of the winning prize packages for the teen finalists of the website’s “March Madness” writing contest dealing with mental health issues.

As an educational resource, StageofLife.com’s mission is to change the world through storytelling, and its award-winning, blogging platform welcomes close to a million teens, college students, teachers, and parents each year who come to the site to read and share their personal, real-life stories.

The site often collaborates with authors based on the topics of its writing prompts.

“We are overwhelmed at the support by the professional writing community as they donate autographed copies of their books for this month’s writing contest on mental illness and health,” said Rebecca Thiegs, VP of Education StageofLife.com.

Participating authors who are donating a signed copy of their book on mental health as a prize to the winning “March Madness” contest finalists include:

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” (Simon & Schuster)

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life” (Mariner Books)

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” (Avery Trade)

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself” (W.W. Norton & Company)

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness” (Hyperion)

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope” (iUniverse)

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder” and “Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia” (Goodman Beck Publishing)

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner)

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia” (St. Martin’s Griffin)

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (Thomas Dunne Books)

When asked about her participation with Stage of Life writing contest, author Stacy Pershall said, “Every time you come out to one person as having a mental health disorder, you change the world. Eliminating stigma happens one person at a time. Just giving someone the vocabulary to address what’s happening to them — for example anorexia, bulimia, self-harm — is a powerful thing…Before I got the right treatment, I was certain I’d die by suicide; it was just a matter of time. Now it’s not all about me. I have to stay alive so I can keep other people alive. Killing myself has ceased to be an option.”

Thiegs added that “People don’t talk about mental health issues or mental illness because of the shame and brokenness surrounding the topic, so this month, while much of the world watches the March Madness college basketball tournament, we want to encourage people to think, write and share a story surrounding the topic of mental health and mental illness.”

Alongside its “March Madness” writing contest, StageofLife.com features educational videos, recommended TED talks, resource reading on mental illness, and a Twitter contest awareness component.

Melody Moezzi, author of “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” told StageofLife.com that, “Sharing our stories as people living with mental illness is by far the most powerful way to fight stigma and discrimination. It’s our best weapon against the insidious culture of shame and silence that surrounds mental illness today.”

The StageofLife.com essay contest is open to anyone aged 13 years and older. Stories must be original, non-fiction, and 500 words or less. There is no entry fee and submissions are due March 31, 2014 by midnight Pacific Time US.

In addition to receiving a signed book, the 1st Place student writer will also receive gift cards from literacy sponsors IHOP and Papa John’s while the 1st Place adult writer will receive gift cards from Applebee’s and SpaWeek.

Finalists and Winners will be posted on the essay winner’s page and Teen Trend Report after April 20th, 2014.

To get details and submit a story to the March Madness writing contest, visit http://www.StageofLife.com.







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86% of Teenagers Know Someone Who Suffers from a Mental Illness, Reports Stageoflife.com


York, PA (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

To understand the relationship between teens and mental illness, StageofLife.com asked thousands of high school and college students to take its national poll about mental health issues as part of its monthly writing contests and life surveys.

The results revealed the following statistics about teenagers and mental illness:

–1 out of 2 teens state they have personally struggled with mental illness at some point in their lives.

–Depression and Anxiety ranked #1 and #2 respectively as the most common mental illness suffered by students.

–86% of teenagers say they know someone who suffers from a mental illness.

–46% of students say they have “contemplated” suicide.

–86.5% of students say that mental health issues are an “important” or “very important” topic for the country.

–84.5% of teens think that there is a negative stigma surrounding those with mental illness.

–Half of all teens say classmates and friends are mostly compassionate about those with mental illness.

–73% of high school and college students know someone who is taking medication because of a mental health issue.

Over 5,100 students visited the essay and survey page during the mental health writing prompt and over 400 teens fully answered the poll. An additional 180+ teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing their personal story will mental illness.

The winning 1st place student essay, “Fibs and Femurs for Dinner” was written by Emily Bromberg, a junior attending Long Beach High School on Long Island, NY who shared her story of struggling to stay healthy. The winning 1st place non-student essay was submitted by special education teacher, Lauren Bauer from Raleigh, NC in her story, “Alone.”

Stage of Life selected a winner from its “Short Short Story” Twitter contest, which also tied into the mental illness writing prompt. The winning Tweet came from ‏‏@sopxhia who wrote, “Depression is being trapped in my labyrinth of thoughts and having no light to guide my way through the twists of the maze.”

Winners from the writing and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee’s, IHOP, Papa John’s, and SpaWeek.com.

Additionally, the top 12 essay finalists received an autographed copy of a book signed by a nationally published author.

The participating authors who donated a signed book as a prize for the Stage of Life writing contest included…

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness”

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life”

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life”

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself”

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope”

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder and Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia”

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia”

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

StageofLife.com VP of Education, Rebecca Thiegs, said, “We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.”

To read all of the essays about mental illness and download the full teen statistics report on this and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

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StageofLife.com is a privately funded, start-up company founded in 2009 by Joe and Eric Thiegs. The website’s mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor last year and provides an international writing community, resources, videos, statistics, and more for today’s teen, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomer generations.







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Bergen County Organizations Team Up to Offer Optimal Mental Health and Substance Use Services


(PRWEB) March 20, 2015

On March 11, 2015 Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) and Turning Point, Inc. officially launched their Partnership in Recovery with a symbolic “Ribbon Tying” event at the CarePlus Headquarters in Paramus. The Partnership consists of a compilation of “Turning Point at CarePlus” programs created to serve adolescents and adults who are experiencing issues with both substance use and their mental health.

Often times those with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues get lost between the cracks because they don’t know how to access appropriate care. With the new partnership, there is no wrong door. Those in need of services are encouraged to call CarePlus admissions (201-986-5000), however they can contact either organization and will be directed to the appropriate care.

“We found that we were stretched,” Joe Masciandaro, CEO of CarePlus, explained at the start of the event. “When people have a problem, they may not necessarily go through the right door.”

With Turning Point’s specialty in substance use treatment and recovery, CarePlus will be able to offer more comprehensive services to existing clients. Likewise, Turning Point is able to offer new services for adolescents because of the expertise CarePlus has in working with families and children.

“There is a synergistic effect when two people work together to bring the best of what they are,” commented Pat White, Vice President of Clinical Services at Turning Point, “with the establishment of this partnership, lives can be saved.”

White went on to highlight a few historical partnerships that forever altered the sense of what is possible, including Louis and Clark’s expedition, as well as the flight of the Wright Brothers.

“At a time when addiction and mental health agencies were competing for new grants and funding opportunities, Turning Point and CarePlus were cultivating this collaboration that enables each program to continue to deliver the highest quality of services to the most complex clients within its area of expertise,” said Chris Barton, Acting CEO of Turning Point. “Together we can do more, and do it better, than either of our programs could have done alone.”

By capitalizing on the strengths of each other, both organizations are benefiting. More importantly, it is the individuals and families that they serve that will benefit the most.

“At the age when I started [using substances] I didn’t realize I had a problem,” began a client of Turning Point at CarePlus. “I didn’t know I had an addiction, and I didn’t know that it was a disease.”

In a manifesto of her experience with substance use disorder, she went on to explain how addiction does not discriminate, it can affect anybody regardless of race, social class, religion, or age.

“I want to help other addicts who are suffering,” concluded the client in her statement. She shared that it is a long journey through recovery, and without agencies like CarePlus and Turning Point, she would be lost. Thanks to these services she has learned how to cope and thrive in daily life, and is motivated to help others do the same.

The wide range of new services offered through the partnership includes family therapy, which is critical in an individual’s recovery. By educating the family, the individual has a better chance of creating a strong support system that understands the intensity of the disease.

Guests at the event were given blue and green “awareness ribbons” to wear, representing each of the organizations. In addition, attendees were provided with informational packets consisting of program information and resources that Turning Point at CarePlus provides.

For more information on the new programs being offered visit http://www.careplusnj.org/substance-abuse-programs/.

Care Plus NJ, Inc. (http://www.CarePlusNJ.org ) is a northern New Jersey provider of recovery-focused mental health, primary care, substance abuse, and family services that addresses the unique needs of individuals with a holistic approach to recovery and overall wellness. Operating out of 23 sites – including three outpatient centers located in Paramus, Fair Lawn, and Montclair, ten residential facilities, offices at three local hospitals, and seven community offices – their services are convenient to clients located throughout Northern New Jersey. They also provide educational programs on mental health-related topics to schools, organizations, and community groups; training topics including certified Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention, Bullying Prevention and Crisis Planning and Intervention Strategies for Schools.

For nearly 40 years, Turning Point, Inc. (http://www.TurningPointNJ.org) has provided compassionate treatment in a clinically rich treatment environment. Turning Point offers a full continuum of residential (detox, short-term residential treatment and halfway house for women) and outpatient addiction treatment programs throughout northern New Jersey (Paterson, Verona, Paramus). Over 3,000 men and women struggling with addiction receive treatment in Turning Point programs every year.