Take Action – Missouri Legislature

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Missouri and is composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly is responsible for creating laws for governing the State of Missouri. The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) are electronically available on this site:  http://revisor.mo.gov/.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

The Ninety-Ninth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, will convene at 12:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Pre-filing of bills started December 1, 2017.

This time we’d like to discuss several bills which we’d like you to write your legislators about. Please write from your viewpoint as an individual or professional, and not as a representative of any organization. Let us know the details and any responses you get. The full text of each bill can be found on the House and Senate Joint Bill Tracking site. Just put the bill number into the search box (e.g. SB661).

Check out our handy discussion about How to write to a legislator.

If you are not a voting resident of Missouri, you can find out about legislation in your own state and write your own state legislators; also, we are looking for volunteers to monitor legislation in Missouri and the states surrounding Missouri — let us know if you’d like to help out.

Very Bad Bills

These are bills that further psychiatric abuses of human rights. Please express your opposition and opinions about these to your legislators and copy the sponsors.

1) SB661 – Senate Bill 661 – sponsored by Senator Jeanie Riddle (Republican, District 10).

This act provides that after a person accused of committing a crime has been involuntarily committed to the Department of Mental Health due to lack of mental fitness to stand trial, the legal counsel for the Department shall have standing to participate in hearings regarding involuntary medications for the accused.

The subject of this bill had been introduced previously in 2016 and 2017. We think it is very bad because it allows the Department of Mental Health to force psychiatric drugs on involuntarily committed citizens. Both of these actions — involuntary commitment and enforced drugging — are psychiatric abuses of human rights.

2) SB785 – Senate Bill 785 – sponsored by Senator Jamilah Nasheed (Democrat, District 5).

This act establishes the Coordinating Board for Mental Health Issues in Higher Education (CBMHI). Each public institution of higher education in Missouri shall have one representative, who is either an administrator or counseling director, on the CBMHI.

It requires setting standards and regulations for student counseling facilities that relate to mental health problems, and developing a process for measuring a higher educational institution’s ability to meet student mental health needs. In other words, it will promote psychiatric and psychological counseling, and likely recommend psychiatric drugs as well. While this sounds altruistic, we know that the current state of psychiatric and psychological counseling is an abuse of human rights.

3) HB1363 – House Bill 1363 – sponsored by Representative Bill Kidd (Republican, District 20).

This bill requires teachers and principals to complete two hours of suicide prevention education each school year.

Again, while this sounds altruistic, the current state of so-called “suicide prevention education” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.

4) HB1419 – House Bill 1419 – sponsored by Representative Marsha Haefner (Republican, District 95).

This bill requires certain health care professionals to complete two hours of suicide prevention training as a condition of licensure.

More of the same — the current state of so-called “suicide prevention training” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.


Very Good Bills

These are bills that support human rights and oppose psychiatric abuses. Please express your support and opinions about these to your legislators and copy the sponsors.

1) SB672 – Senate Bill 672 – sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig (Republican, District 15).

This act provides that during a child protective investigation if the child is at risk for possible removal the Children’s Division shall provide information to the parent about community service programs that provide support services for families in crisis. Additionally, a parent may temporarily delegate to an attorney-in-fact any powers regarding the care and custody of a child, where a child subject to such power of attorney shall not be considered placed in foster care.

This returns parental rights to the parents instead of forcing a child into foster care. We think this is supportive of human rights, not to mention preventing a child from receiving psychiatric drugging which almost always occurs in foster care.

2) SB786 – Senate Bill 786 – sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp (Democrat, District 24).

This bill modifies provisions relating to “whistle-blower’s” protection for public employees by broadening its scope of application and extending protections to the whistle-blower.

3) HB1294 – House Bill 1294 – sponsored by Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch (Republican, District 44).

This bill specifies that parental liberty to direct the upbringing, education, and care of his or her children is a fundamental right. The State of Missouri and any political subdivision of the state is prohibited from infringing on this right without demonstrating a compelling governmental interest.

Needless to say, we support parental rights as a basic human right. Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.” And Article 26 says, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

4) HB1451 – House Bill 1451 – sponsored by Representative Karla May (Democrat, District 84).

This bill prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy on children under 16 years of age. Any person or mental health facility that administers electroconvulsive therapy to someone under 16 years of age will be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for two years, or both, and will be liable for compensation to the person that was given the electroconvulsive therapy.

What can we say? About time! Get this one passed! Write your legislators now!

Missouri Mental Health News

Recent information from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicates some progress in reducing psychiatric fraud and abuse in Missouri. Of course, the Post-Dispatch slants the information to beg for more government and insurance money for psychiatrists and psychiatric facilities; but we can take a win seeing the number of psychiatrists declining.

We do understand that people can have mental trauma needing compassion and effective care. Psychiatric drugs and other “treatments” such as shock therapy, however, are harmful. Not only do psychiatrists not understand the etiology (cause) of any mental disorder, they cannot cure them. In effect, psychiatrists are still saying that mental problems are incurable and that the afflicted are condemned to lifelong suffering—on psychotropic drugs. Psychotropic drugs, however, are unworkable and dangerous, and while they may temporarily mask some symptoms they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition.

We generally take cure to mean the elimination of some unwanted condition with some effective treatment. The primary purpose of any mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. The only effective measure of this treatment must be “patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals.” This, we would call a cure. Psychiatry produces no cures.

There are plenty of healthy alternatives to psychiatry. The correct action on a seriously mentally disturbed person is a full searching clinical examination by a competent medical, not psychiatric, doctor.

The real problem with the psychiatric industry is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

There is no licensed psychiatrist in 72 Missouri counties. That’s some progress. People needing help in those areas need competent medical care, not psychiatric abuse.

A majority of psychiatrists don’t accept Medicaid, and a growing number refuse all health insurance plans. That’s some progress. We should be providing funding and insurance coverage only for proven, workable treatments that verifiably and dramatically improve or cure mental health problems.

The average wait to see a psychiatrist in the St. Louis area is estimated at 10 to 30 days and can reach six months for children and teens; what are they doing in the meantime? They should be exploring non-psychiatric alternatives.

There are 1,174 psychiatric hospital beds in the state, down from 2,600 in 1990. That’s some progress. Contact your Missouri state legislators and encourage them to continue reducing psychiatric hospital beds in favor of real and effective medical treatment.

Many people with mental trauma end up in county jails when they fail to find treatment elsewhere. This is not progress; this is overloading an already failing system with more failures. A major part of the treatment for prison inmates (used less for rehabilitation than for managing and disciplining inmates) is a regimen of powerful psychiatric drugs, despite numerous studies showing that aggression, violence and suicide are tied to their use. Prisons and jails have become America’s new mental asylums. The number of individuals with serious mental symptoms in prisons and jails exceeds the number of patients in state psychiatric hospitals tenfold. The cost of maintaining these inmates in prison skyrockets when psychiatric drugs are being used.

The Veterans Health Administration has also been actively recruiting psychiatrists from private practices to help treat an increase in so-called post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CCHR has investigated how psychiatrists are using the “War on Terror” to broaden their niche within the military to push mind-altering drugs on not only the fighting forces, but on veterans and the public at large.

Contact your Missouri state legislators to introduce and pass legislation designed to curb psychiatric fraud and abuse. For examples of Model Legislation, click here.

Missouri Legislative News

The 2012 Missouri state legislative session ended May 18. This means that all bills listed below as killed are now truly dead (for this year.) Bills that are listed as passed have been passed by both houses of the legislature but still need to be signed by the Governor. He has until mid-July to sign or veto all bills presented. For more information about each bill, including its full text, go to http://www.house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx and search on the bill number (e.g. “SB 446”).

PRO-PSYCH BILLS KILLED for the 2012 session

SB 446
Specifies that drug courts may be funded by the county law enforcement restitution fund.

SB 500
Modifies state legal expense coverage of certain health professionals and modifies hospital patient safety policies. This act provides coverage under the state legal expense fund for any licensed doctor, therapist, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, pharmacist, psychologist, or nurse who is hired on a contract basis to serve as a consultant for the MO HealthNet division or family support division of the Department of Social Services, or to serve as a consultant to the Department of Mental Health.

SB 518
Creates a mental health assessment pilot program for criminal offenders.

HB 1322
Authorizes the Director of the Department of Corrections to establish, as a three-year pilot program, a mental health assessment process.

HB 1456
Authorizes the Department of Corrections to establish a mental health assessment pilot program for certain criminal offenders.

SB 634
Requires insurer to provide coverage for eating disorders.

HB 1509
Requires all health insurance carriers and health benefit plans to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.

SB 710
Establishes a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Includes treatment for impaired professionals.

HB 1122
Establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

HB 1193
Establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

HB 1372
Changes the laws regarding the dispensing of controlled substances and establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act.

SB 768
This act authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. These courts will dispose of cases involving substance abuse or mental illness of current or former military personnel. Treatment referrals by the court shall be through the Department of Defense health care, Veterans Administration, or community-based treatment programs. The court shall dismiss, reduce, or modify the charges against the participant upon successful completion of a treatment program. Community based treatment programs must use programs certified by the Missouri Department of Mental Health unless no certified program is located in the same county as the court. Community based programs shall receive state or federal funds for referrals from veterans treatment courts.

HB 1110
Allows a circuit court to establish a veterans treatment court to dispose of criminal cases which stem from substance abuse or mental illness of military veterans or current military personnel.

HB 1032
Adds a licensed professional counselor to the list of those authorized to conduct a full investigation into whether an individual is suitable as an adoptive parent.

HB 1082
Specifies that licensed professional counseling includes the diagnosis of mental, emotional, and behavior disorders and requires these counselors to complete certain educational coursework.

HB 1583
Authorizes the juvenile court to order psychiatric evaluations of a juvenile and to order admittance to a mental health facility upon the recommendation of specified evaluations.

 

ANTI-PSYCH BILLS PASSED for the 2012 session

HB 1318
Prohibits a state employee working in a maximum or medium security mental health facility from being required to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, although the final version had the guts taken out of it by allowing it in a “work-force shortage.”

HB 1608
Repeals provisions and sections of law regarding unfunded and obsolete programs and establishes expiration dates for specified provisions. Includes some psych programs among those being axed:

The Student Suicide Prevention Grant Program (Section 161.235);

The requirement that licensed physicians providing obstetrical or gynecological care to a pregnant woman counsel all patients as to the perinatal effects of cigarettes, alcohol, and controlled substances and that the Department of Health and Senior Services establish a toll-free information line to provide information on resources for substance abuse treatment, establish protocols based on a risk assessment profile to be used by health care providers to identify high risk pregnancies, and conduct periodic tests on a sample of women or infants at the time of delivery. (Sections 191.727, 191.733, 191.735, 191.741, and 191.745)