“The industry requires far greater scrutiny, exposure and accountability—until children are no longer being prescribed mind-altering drugs, electroshocked and restrained in psychiatric-behavioral facilities, putting them at risk of death.” – CCHR International
Mental health watchdog releases public service video about potential risks to children and teens in the behavioral industry as prescriptions and restraint deaths rise; wants parents better educated to make informed decisions to safeguard their families.
By CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
August 30, 2021
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International launched its latest Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the child mental health care system it says has become a multi-billion-dollar business putting children and adolescents at risk. It is one of a series of PSAs the group has produced for its Fight For Kids (FFK) campaign, which aims to inform and educate parents, protect children and youths and advocate for rights to safeguard them against mental health industry abuse.
The PSA addresses the foster care system milking Medicaid funds to put foster children on psychotropic drugs at rates four times greater than non-foster care children; behavioral hospitals masquerading as healthcare isolating children and teens in solitary confinement, subjecting them to brutal and lethal restraints and electroshocking them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 9.4% of U.S. children aged 2-17 years (approximately 6.1 million) have received an ADHD diagnosis, while 1 in 6 children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. CCHR questions this because there is no scientific or physical test to confirm these problems as medical conditions, requiring a biomedical intervention. IQVia Total Patient Tracker Database for 2020 reveals 6.1 million 0-17-year-olds in the U.S. are on prescribed psychotropic drugs of which 3.1 million were drugged with stimulants to treat ADHD.
CCHR says that parents are saturated with misleading information about children’s mental health needs. Wanting only the best for them, parents can have a hard time conceiving that the mental health care system is fraught with dangers to. Parents often find out about the risks too late.
Well-meaning parents and teachers have been duped into believing that “normal” childhood behavior is a mental illness. See CCHR’s video CCHRInt: Childhood is Not a Mental Disorder – YouTube
CCHR also exposes unimageable parent losses in its documentary, Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child, in which parents expose all-too often lethal scenarios occurring in the mental health industry:
- You take your ten-year-old daughter to the doctor where she gasps for air and suddenly dies in your arms. You watch helpless, unable to revive her. You are informed afterwards that a toxic dose of an antidepressant—not approved for children under the age of 13—is responsible for the death.
- Your 14-year-old son leaves the house to go skateboarding. You never see him alive again. A coroner determines he had small vessel damage, although there was no pre-existing heart condition or defect. The cause of death is “Long Term use of methylphenidate, Ritalin.”
- You excitedly await your 17-year-old son’s arrival home from a vacation when you receive a phone call. Your son parked his truck on an aging bridge, climbed its spans to the top, then jumped, and died. After a rough patch in his senior year of high school had left him feeling down, a psychologist had suggested the avid sportsman would benefit from an antidepressant, known to cause suicidal behavior in teens. Eight weeks later, he committed suicide.
Children and adolescents suffer the consequences of abusive psychiatric and behavioral hospitals. It’s a scathing indictment of a failed mental health system that is rarely held accountable. Particularly haunting are the deaths of children in residential facilities, ProPublica found. It reported at least 145 kids dying from avoidable causes over the last three decades.
- A mother took her 11-year-old son to a psychiatric hospital in Texas where he was detained without her consent. WFAA News detailed the boy’s anguish: “[T]he door locks behind you. You’re told you can’t leave. Stripped of your clothes, given a new bed. You have no idea when you’ll see your family again.” The facility billed his mother’s insurance more than $11,000 for the unwanted stay.
- An investigation of one North Tampa Behavioral Health facility found it made “huge profits by exploiting patients held under Florida’s mental health law,” the Baker Act. The facility used “loopholes in the statute to hold them longer than allowed, running up their bills while they are powerless to fight back.” Hospital charges were up to $1,500 per night, creating an additional $1.4 million in annual revenue.
- Attorney Tommy James added his voice against one Youth & Family Services company worth $11 billion, stating: “There is systemic violence in Sequel facilities throughout the country. The level of abuse is staggering and very disturbing…It is disgusting when our most vulnerable children are placed in these facilities and then treated like animals.” 
CCHR says the industry requires far greater scrutiny, exposure and accountability—until children are no longer being prescribed mind-altering drugs, electroshocked and restrained in psychiatric-behavioral facilities, putting them at risk of death.
CCHR helped obtain federal U.S. legislation that bans the practice of school personnel forcing schoolchildren onto a psychotropic drug as a requisite for their education and wants much broadener protections for children and adolescents.
 “Total Number Of People Taking Psychiatric Drugs In The United States,” CCHR International, https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/people-taking-psychiatric-drugs/
 “Questions Raised Over Ritalin,” CBS.com, 18 Apr. 2000, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/questions-raised-over-ritalin-18-04-2000/
 Glenn Smith, “Parents warn of possible psychiatric drug dangers,” The Post and Courier, 27 Nov. 2010, https://web.archive.org/web/20110220213908/http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/nov/27/parents-warning-others/
 Heather Vogell, “Unrestrained: While evidence of abuse of the disabled has piled up for decades, one for-profit company has used its deep pockets and influence to bully weak regulators and evade accountability,” ProPublica, 10 Dec. 2011, https://www.propublica.org/article/advoserv-profit-and-abuse-at-homes-for-the-profoundly-disabled
 https://www.cchrint.org/2019/10/25/cchr-rails-against-use-of-commitment-laws-that-detain-patients-for-profit/, citing: Charlotte Huffman, et al., “Against Their Will: Locked away in a mental hospital after voluntarily seeking help,” WFAA News 8, 29 Jun. 2018, https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/investigates/against-their-will-locked-away-in-a-mental-hospital-after-voluntarily-seeking-help/287-520570575
 “CCHR, Mental Health Industry Watchdog, Rails Against Use Of Commitment Laws That Detain Patients For Profit,” CCHR International, 25 Oct. 2019, https://www.cchrint.org/2019/10/25/cchr-rails-against-use-of-commitment-laws-that-detain-patients-for-profit/, citing: Wesley Chappel, “You’re trapped. They’re crashing in. How one Florida psychiatric hospital makes millions off patients who have no choice,” The Tampa Bay Times, 18 Sept. 2019, https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2019/investigations/north-tampa-behavioral-health/
 “Utah State Law Curbing Behavioral Restraint Use On Children & Youths Is Applauded But Unconditional Ban Is Needed Nationwide,” CCHR International, 17 Feb. 2021, https://www.cchrint.org/2021/02/17/utah-state-law-curbing-behavioral-restraint-use-on-children-youths-is-applauded-but-unconditional-ban-is-needed-nationwide/, citing: Chelsea Retherford, “Lawsuit claims abuse at Courtland Sequel youth facility,” The Moulton Advertiser, 7 Jan 2021, https://www.moultonadvertiser.com/news/article_8affb2d2-5035-11eb-a4d8-f3037059f4ae.html