A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex
Updated: January 11, 2007 6:11 PM EST TeenScreen is a very controversial so-called "diagnostic psychiatric service", aka suicide survey; done on children who are then referred to psychiatric treatment. The evidence suggests that the objective of the psychiatrists who designed TeenScreen is to place children so selected on psychotropic drugs.
"It's just a way to put more people on prescription drugs," said Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of "The Truth About Drug Companies." She said such programs will boost the sale of antidepressants even after the FDA in September ordered a "black box" label warning that the pills might spur suicidal thoughts or actions in minors. (The New York Post, December 5, 2004)
TeenScreen is based on the thoroughly discredited "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders".
Procedure on Young Children
TeenScreen lures kids as young as 9 years old into doing the suicide survey by offering them free movie passes, food coupons, "I completed TeenScreen" stress balls, pizza parties and candy bars - if they consent to the procedure.
One tactic TeenScreen officials use is to sell the child on the suicide survey first and after they have the child's agreement, they later contact parents.
TeenScreen Project Coordinator, Kathleen Cigich, was quoted as saying: "We found early on, though, that sending out letters directly to parents is prohibitively time consuming and gets a low response rate. We thought, why not go to students themselves and offer a $5 video store coupon to anyone who brings back a parental consent form within a two-day turnaround period. It works. Our response rate is extremely high."
TeenScreen also utilizes a "passive consent" form which requires no written parental approval. The passive consent form is sent home to parents and if they don't return it TeenScreen considers that the parents approve. TeenScreen officials favor passive consent because they say it boosts their chances of screening kids to 95% as opposed to the written parental consent technique. What if the child forgets to bring the consent form home? What happens if the parent is too busy to refuse in writing? They've consented in the eyes of TeenScreen personnel.
The youngster is sat down and asked introverting questions such as:
- Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren't interested in anything?
- Has there been a time when you felt you couldn't do anything well or that you weren't as good-looking or as smart as other people?
- How often did your parents get annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?
- Have you often felt very nervous when you've had to do things in front of people?
- Have you often worried a lot before you were going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?
- Have you tried to kill yourself in the last year?
- Are you still thinking of killing yourself?
- Have you thought seriously about killing yourself?
- Have you often thought about killing yourself??
- Have you ever tried to kill yourself?
Based on the answers the child gives to the above questions he is then shuffled off to a "clinician", who ponders the bogus label to use.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Active Suicide Ideation?
Passive Suicide Ideation?
You can find the checklist used to label the child here: labeling checklist
IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS:
Parents are being mislead by a multi billion-dollar a year child drugging industry that a diagnoses of "mental disorder" (ADHD, Bi-Polar, Social Anxiety Disorder) are medical diseases or illnesses. This is a fraud. No child has a brain scan, blood test, X-Ray or any evidence of physical abnormality to verify they are "ill" or "diseased."
Yet psychiatrists continue to pound the public with misleading and fraudulent statements that these so called mental disorders are biochemical or neurological conditions. That is false. They are simply a list of behaviors that psychiatrists vote into existence and insert into their billing bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
This has led to over 8 million children in the U.S. taking mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is psychiatry's billing bible of "disorders" from which psychiatric screening, diagnoses and their treatment are derived. The current edition lists 374 psychiatric conditions that have been identified as mental disorders.
Yet, the disorders contained in the DSM-IV are arrived at by consensus, not by scientific criteria. There are no blood tests, brain scans, X-Rays, MRIs or "chemical imbalance" tests that can scientifically validate any mental "disorder" as a disease or illness. Canadian psychologist Tana Dineen reports, "Unlike medical diagnoses that convey a probable cause, appropriate treatment and likely prognosis, the disorders listed in DSM-IV are terms arrived at through peer consensus"- literally, a vote by APA committee members.
The "clinician" summarizes his report and comes up with an "impairment score".
Based on how the child answered the "suicide survey", and which label the clinician conjured up and how the child did on his "impairment score" the child is then sent off for "treatment".
Drugs. A survey of recently trained child psychiatrists found the treatment for 9 out of 10 children consisted of drugging. (Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry 2002)
The "treatment" used on children with these bogus labels can be found here: Medication Guidelines
"Treatment" is the long term goal for TeenScreen according to their director, Laurie Flynn.
What does the Food and Drug Administration say about these drugs? See here: Black Box Warning
TeenScreen — no evidence of workability
TeenScreen officials admit that there have been no studies that show that their program reduces suicide. That is not surprising, because the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report of May of 2004 states:
A. There is no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.
B. There is limited evidence on the accuracy of screening tools to identify suicide risk.
C. There is insufficient evidence that treatment of those at high risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.
D. No studies were found that directly address the harms of screening and treatment for suicide risk.
TeenScreen has no proof that their survey reduces suicide rates. The co-director of TeenScreen Rob Caruano, says that suicides are so rare that you'd have to screen the whole country to see a difference in mortality between screened and unscreened students.
TeenScreen was established in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1997 . According to a 2003 Tulsa World newspaper article, Mike Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, stated: "To the best of my knowledge, this is the highest number of youth suicides we've ever had during the school year -- a number we find very frightening."
Psychiatrists are even coming forth saying TeenScreen is unworkable. Nathaniel Lehrman says: "The claim by the director of the TeenScreen Program that her program would significantly reduce suicides is unsupported by the data. Indeed, such screenings would probably cause more harm than good. It is impossible, on cursory examination, or on the basis of the Program's brief written screening test, to detect suicidality or "mental illness," however we define it. "
So much for the workability of TeenScreen.