Canada unveils mental health board: Prime Minister Harper�s cure worse than disease
By James Corbett
Online Journal Guest Writer

Sep 6, 2007, 00:45

A CBC News report last Friday announced the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, whose goal will be to �help bring into being an integrated mental health system that places people living with mental illness at its centre.� This flowery platitude is counteracted by the website�s admission that the board seeks to create a �national approach to mental health issues� including disseminating �evidence based information on all aspects of mental health and mental illness to governments, stakeholders and the public.�

The term �national approach� and the implied governmental monopoly on the dissemination of mental health information is doubtless music to Big Pharma�s ears. Listeners of The Corbett Report are already familiar with Big Pharma�s cavalier approach to killing its customers, and how Bayer�s attempt to make money off a drug they knew was infected with HIV by dumping it in Europe and Asia was not opposed by the FDA, the national agency in the U.S. charged with protecting citizens against unsafe drugs . . . but apparently not citizens outside its borders.

Now, the Canadian Mental Health Commission -- with its aspiration to �destigmatize� mental health problems -- creates a convenient centralized board for Big Pharma to lobby. A medication recommended by the board, supported by their centralized �evidence based� database, would doubtless be prescribed to a higher percentage of the population than would otherwise be the case, helping to line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies . . . not that they need any more money.

The leap from national mental health board to Big Pharma drug peddler is not a large one. Senator Michael Kirby -- the man who headed the government commission which recommended the board in the first place -- told CBC News that his dream is to live in a world �where people accept that there are physical and mental illnesses and they should be treated alike.� As wonderful as this sounds, what it really means is that the drug companies which already dominate the medical industry should be given further control over our lives.

There is good reason to worry about a growing federal push for the use of drugs to medicate mental illness. It has been known for years that the Prozac family of drugs, known as SSRIs, can cause suicidal tendencies in those taking them, but more and more evidence is coming to light that suggests these drugs are responsible for homicidal tendencies as well. A Prison Planet article from April points out that the common thread between Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Unabomber, John Hinckley, Jr., Mark David Chapman, Charles Carl Roberts IV and other notorious murderers is that they were all on an SSRI at the time of their crimes. A recent WorldNetDaily article details further instances of SSRI-linked homicide and locates the problem in a growing trend in the mental health field to reduce mental disorders to biochemical imbalances which can be corrected with medications. In other words, the push to �destigmatize� mental illness by reducing it to a biochemical problem is aiding the sale and production of these SSRI drugs. As Fortune Magazine pointed out in 2005, SSRI drugs had already ballooned to an $11 billion a year worldwide industry by 2004.

One would hope that the newly-appointed commission would at least address the rampant overprescribing of antipsychotics for seniors that take place in government-regulated nursing homes, but on the most vital front in this battle -- the protection of children from the pharmaceutical companies� grasp -- the commission looks like it�s been set up to fail. The committee report, which spawned the board itself, notes in section 6.2.2, �The School-Age Years,� that enforced mental health screenings for children were rejected by the committee not because they represent an attempt to impose a fascist nanny state on the public, but because of legal roadblocks and lack of resources for setting up such a system. Worryingly, however, the report concludes that it will be best to commence the �destigmatization� of mental illness with school children because it is �relatively simple� to brainwash youth and �when resources are scarce, it is best to target information at those who are most receptive to it.� And so begins the slippery slope to a UK-style nanny state where 4-year olds are forced to take �happiness tests� to identify early onset of mental illness and social workers will even target unborn babies who have the misfortune of being deemed likely to engage in antisocial behaviour by the government (presumably after they are born).

The national health board looks to be good business for Big Pharma and a convenient control system for a federal government looking to expand its powers into what is admittedly provincial jurisdiction. The average citizen, however, should be wary of this new institution. Citizens can share their concerns by emailing the commission through their website.

James Corbett produces The Corbett Report, a weekly half-hour news and information podcast available free for download. The Corbett Report also provides interviews and articles about breaking news and important issues.

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