They’re Coming to Screen You

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has released guidelines for suicide prevention (“Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk“).

The NAASP, a project of Education Development Center, is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).

Their main point of view is that suicide prevention should be managed by health care providers in the same way as prevention of common medical conditions.

The rate of suicide deaths in the U.S. rose significantly between 2000 and 2015 — from 10.44 per 100,000 to 13.26 per 100,000 — coincident with the increase of prescriptions for psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs.

“At least two thirds of suicide deaths occur within about 30 days of a medical contact, be that an emergency department (ED), a primary care practice, or a mental health professional” and up to 70% among the older male psychiatric population. This is not a good recommendation for seeing a psychiatrist.

They believe that suicide screening should be a standard action for all patients in the mental health care system. Mental health screening aims to get the whole population on drugs and thus under control. Contrary to how screening is presented by psychiatrists, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate these claims of screening for suicide risk.

The psychopharmaceutical industry has invented hundreds of mental health screening questionnaires devised from the fraudulent symptoms of “disorders” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), with drug companies paying for and copyrighting these. These questionnaires are all over the Internet, where any “lay person” can complete it, diagnose themselves and go ask their doctor for the drug recommended for it.

Unfortunately, they neglect to mention that the subjective questions used in these screenings are based on the DSM, which medical experts say is an unscientific and unreliable document. In 2004 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention, “found no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.” It’s just a way to put more people on prescription drugs. Some suicide risk assessments are designed to fit hand-in-glove with the effects of these drugs, emphasizing the physical symptoms that most respond to psychiatric drugs.

One such screening test called TeenScreen went out of business after admitting that it had a large chance that 84% of children screened could be wrongly identified as suicidal. Screening and early intervention sounds like a great idea until you turn out to be the one being screened.

Since there is no laboratory test that can identify mental illness or suicide risk, the diagnosis of a mental disorder or of a suicide risk is entirely subjective. Basically, it is the opinion of a psychiatrist who has decided he does not like what a person is thinking or feeling.

There certainly should be more attention paid by health care providers to the risk of suicide; however, that attention should be directed toward finding and fixing actual medical conditions and getting patients off of harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Click here for more information about the history of mental health screening and its fraudulent nature.

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