Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of a Texas man and agreed to review his lawyer’s claims that his trial was tainted by testimony from a psychologist who said his race was an indicator that he could kill in the future.
Representative Ron Paul (R., Texas) recently reintroduced legislation that would keep federal funding from being used to establish or implement any universal or mandatory mental health, psychiatric, or socio-emotional screening program without Parental Consent. Because of the generality of mental health tests, it’s easy for widespread screening to lead to mass labeling, drugging and life-long stigmatization.
The psychiatrist accused of the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting that left 13 dead and numerous people wounded was arraigned last week. He faces 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and 32 counts of attempted pre-meditated murder and, according to media accounts, may face the death penalty.
The White House recently indicated that it will adopt new policies to protect against “domestic radicalism.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the plan includes not only traditional police agencies, but also the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
Findings from a Federal inspection after the death of a psychiatric patient at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas County may cause the public hospital to be barred from participating in Medicaid and Medicare. A letter from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said that if it doesn’t provide acceptable correction plans by Aug. 20 and complete those plans by Aug. 24, the Dallas County hospital would be removed from the Medicare program as of Sept. 2.
In March 2009, the American Psychiatric Association announced that it would phase out pharmaceutical funding of continuing medical education seminars and meals at its conventions. However, the decision came only after years of controversial exposure of its conflict of interest with the pharmaceutical industry and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee requesting in July 2008 that the APA provide accounts for all of its pharmaceutical funding.
Screening is a very controversial so-called “diagnostic psychiatric service” (aka suicide survey) done on children who are then referred to psychiatric treatment. It’s a questionnaire that asks such things as “Have you often felt very nervous when you’ve had to do things in front of people?,” or “Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything?”
Life is full of problems – sometimes these problems are overwhelming and can cause a variety of behavioral reactions and mental problems. Mental problems can be resolved-thankfully so. An individual should be encouraged to overcome his personal obstacles and arrive at a better understanding of himself and life.
Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic, said that in February 2009, “Americans heard about a dramatic rise in suicides among U.S. soldiers.” Army statistics, which include the Army Reserve and the National Guard, confirmed 128 suicides (with 15 more deaths under investigation). Suicides for the Marines also increased, with 41 in 2008, up from 33 in 2007 and 25 in 2006.
The Army’s largest post saw a record-high number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.
The Army says 22 soldiers have either killed themselves or are suspected of doing so last year at its post at Fort Hood in Texas, twice the number from 2009.