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Controversial mental health program closes down

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 27 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8100

Re: Controversial mental health program closes down

TeenScreen rapidly gained the reputation across the USA as being a highly effective marketing tool for psychiatric clinics.

In combination with state or federal programs that paid (under-funded) inner-city schools up to US$780 per each student successfully referred into a psychiatric programme, schools' financial and convenience motivation to "shunt" active, inquisitive or mildly unmanageable youngsters into drug-based interventions was too tempting.

In some reports, up to 70 percent of youngsters proceeding through TeenScreen were diagnosed as requiring medications. Another weakness was some teens' willingness to falsify symptoms to obtain drugs for their own use, for sale, or to trade for sexual favors.

IF you are conscientiously interested in pursuing TeenScreen's true weaknesses, you must perforce pursue the real damages associated with psychiatric drugs in developing brains of the young. I doubt your willingness to do so.

If I am wrong about your interest in objectivity, please begin with an honest search of the Web.

One site, TeenScreenTruth, had many pages of clear citations showing the correlation between suicides, child murders, mass shootings and the psychotropic in use or recent use. For reasons unknown, TeenScreenTruth has been forced to cease publication, but a few still-extant sites have republished parts of its content.

I'd love to see some honest journalism on the topic of heinous crimes correlated to the psychiatric medication involved.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 November 2012
Jon von Gunten
Company president
10951 Hillhaven Avenue