In Santa Cruz CA, where 9% of adults have taken psych drugs, advocates launch 1st Green Mental Health Care Day

Genita Petralli, president of nonprofit Green Body and Mind, director of Patient Services at Alternative to Meds Clinic, and an author of several books, says it’s her mission to “educate all those interested in what is causing the epidemic mental health crisis of today, how to avoid it, how to get off psychiatric drugs if you are on them now, and why toxic drugs should not ever be called medicine.” To that end, Petralli launched the area’s first Green Mental Health Care Day, a day where speakers and healers came together to address the problems of psychiatric drugs and offer several alternative solutions.

Kim Wein
December 28, 2009

Is Santa Cruz County one of the most drugged counties in the United States? Some might quickly reply with a yes. But it’s not for the reason you might think.

According to the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project Comprehensive Report for 2009, in the past 12 months, 9.2 percent of adults in Santa Cruz County have taken prescription medication for mental health or emotional problems almost daily for two weeks or more. This fact has some local medical practitioners asking: What are the consequences of having a significant portion of the population reliant on psychiatric drugs?

The issue is illuminated somewhat in The Marketing of Madness, a film recently released by Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). In it, revealing details suggest that disorders listed in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM)—diseases found here are voted into existence by a panel of psychiatrists—have no proven pathology and therefore cannot be called medical diseases. According to the APA, 19 of the 27 psychiatrists on the [DSM] top panel … have financial ties to drug companies.” With an obvious conflict in interest, these psychiatrists are allowed to serve on a panel, voting in diseases with pharmaceutical money in their pockets.

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