Started in 1949 by Mental Health America, Mental Health Awareness Month - as observed by mental health advocacy groups - is purported as a means of educating the populace on mental health issues for the purpose of education and providing support for those labeled as mentally ill. Yet this observance has been put into question by alarming statistics showing the number of people taking psychiatric drugs in the United States including the drugging of children and parallel increases in child and [adolescent suicide rates](http://www.cchrflorida.org/cchr-calls-for-investigation-into-link-between-antidepressants-and-teen-suicides/). As an example, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of antidepressant use alone in the U.S. among people ages 12 and older increased by almost 400% between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008. 
The [Citizens Commission on Human Rights](http://www.cchrflorida.org/) (CCHR), a watchdog group with Florida offices in the Tampa Bay area, has extensively researched statistics on child psychotropic medications in the U.S. and reports that the total number of children 17 and under taking psychotropic prescription drugs in the U.S. today is 8,389,000. 
Of these, 4,130,000 children are between 6 and 12 years old, on powerful mind-effecting prescription drugs.
Many children may be on these medications far longer than their parents expect. Last month in an investigative story on psychotropic drugs, the New York Times headline reported that Most People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit. 
WND reported in February this year, after the Parkland shooting, that A disturbing number of perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on - or just recently coming off of - psychiatric medications. 
NBC News reported on April 22 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) finding that suicides in the U.S. are at the highest level in almost three decades. 
During Mental Health Awareness Month we want to make it know that over 8 million children in this country are on prescribed psychotropic drugs known to be addictive and to prompt violent ideations, said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. And if mental health strategies are effective, why are the suicide rates climbing every year?
Columnist Art Levine, author of Mental Health Inc., reported in Newsweek last week grievous harm, too often fatal, continues to be inflicted on thousands of children and adults due to the overprescribing of psychiatric medications. Mr. Levine lost his mother to over-prescription of psychotropic medications. 
In May 2016, even the Mayo Clinic staff were advising parents on child suicidal tendencies from antidepressant medications. Why do antidepressants have warnings about suicidal behavior in children? was the question asked by Clinic Staff as the authors. 
What warning signs should you watch for when your child is taking antidepressants? the article continued. It lists talk of suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide, self-injury, agitation or restlessness among disturbing effects of psychiatric medication in children.
Rather than patting ourselves on the back over campaigns to end the stigma of mental health, said Ms. Stein, we should be finding out why pharmaceuticals for kids are being promoted so heavily to parents and teachers. We need to deal with the fact that this is not working.
When our children are drug-free and suicide-free, then we can celebrate mental health, she added.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHRs mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world. In March 1969, he said, Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the free world tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of mental health. For more information visit, [www.cchrflorida.org](http://www.cchrflorida.org/)
 http://www.wnd.com/2018/02/media-ignoring-1-crucial-factor-in-florida-school-shooting/  http://www.newsweek.com/psychiatric-drugs-overprescribed-americans-opioids-683628
For more information, visit: http://www.cchrflorida.org/