Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Early Intervention, McGorry, Politics & TV Shows
PART I - Early Intervention - Patrick McGorry
I cannot browse the Internet these days without reading about Australian psychiatrist Patrick "Dr. Emmett Brown" McGorry.
Whatever I seem to be researching these days leads me to McGorry.
McGorry was voted Australian of the year in 2010, an award given for the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians.
McGorry is an international researcher and clinician who bangs the drum loudly for the youth mental health reform agenda. He is Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health (OYH), an organisation for the prevention and treatment of mental illness. OYH apparently targets the needs of young people with "emerging" serious mental illness, including first-episode psychosis.
First episode psychosis, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [CAMH] is the ﬁrst time a person experiences a psychotic episode, the 'episode' being a loss of contact with reality, in which people have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is not.
Medication used to treat this 'illness' is varied
Typical antipsychotic medications that are commonly used include:
Atypical antipsychotic medications include:
I've included the brand names in the list to avoid any confusion.
So, where does McGorry fit in? Patrick McGorry has claimed that nearly half the Australian population will experience mental ill-health during their lifetime. His early intervention program, based on a series of box ticking forms, diagnoses people, many of them children, before they develop a "mental disorder" - to nip this "illness" in the bud [before the patient actually gets it] drugs, such as the ones listed above, can be used.
McGorry has received grant support from Eli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, and Novartis. He is also a paid consultant for, and has received speaker’s fees from all or most of the above.
When requests, under the Freedom of Information Act, were requested regarding McGorry's dealings with the pharmaceutical industry, he screamed that he was the victim of Scientologists, a worn out defence psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry often use when backed into a corner.
PART II - Politics
McGorry often turns up at symposiums [that's seminars to you and I] to discuss, rather than debate, his program.
It should come as no surprise that fellow supporters/psychiatrists also attend these seminars.
Psychiatrist turned Liberal candidate for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stan Kutcher, is one such person.
Last week I broke the news story that Kutcher had been featured in The Coast, a newspaper that serves the Halifax area of Nova Scotia. The story picked up momentum, particularly after Kutcher threatened to sue The Coast - they subsequently removed the article, apologised and made a donation in Kutcher's name to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia
The article cited Kutcher's involvement with the infamous Paxil 329 study, a study that has since been discredited by many peers and attorneys in court rooms across the US. Kutcher, for whatever reason, has stood by the study claiming that the article was "confusing opinion with science." In fact the whole study was ghostwritten by Sally K Laden, not to be confused with Bin Laden. The question we, as patient advocates, have every right to ask, is did Kutcher know the paper was ghostwritten or did he just take it on trust that what he was overseeing came from those listed as the authors?
Kutcher, just like McGorry, is a big fan of the early intervention program and has attended and given talks at many seminars where McGorry has been in attendance.
Those that spoke out against Kutcher's involement in the Paxil 329 study, myself included, were...wait for it...labelled Scientologists. It is unknown whether Kutcher was aware that an anti-Scientology movement were orchestrating a smear campaign against one of those that spoke out against Kutcher. [More Here]
Update: Kutcher failed in his attempt to get elected.
Part III - TV Shows
Early today I was sent a link to a TV show aired in Ireland back in 2009. The show featured the parents of Shane Clancy, a young man who was prescribed Cipramil [Celexa in US] then weeks later, and totally out of character, went berserk with a kitchen knife, stabbing a young man to death, injuring two others before finally plunging the knife into his body 19 times.
His parents, Leonie and Tony, made the unprecedented step of going public about their son by appearing on a popular Irish show called 'The Late Late Show.'
The 24 minute video of the interview is a bit difficult to navigate to when accessing the RTE website. For those wishing to view the interview:
Go to - http://www.rte.ie/tv/latelate/20091002.html
Below the date 'Friday, 2 October 2009' you will see a large screen plus four small ones. Under the smaller ones click on 'More'
The video you are looking for is called 'The Clancy's'
During the harrowing interview, a number of doctor's in the audience offer opinion regarding SSRi drugs. One such doctor, Dr Harry Barry, refers to 'a visiting professor, "one of the world's experts on youth mental health" who gave a talk in Ireland.
That visiting professor was Patrick McGorry who according to Dr Barry described Ireland's young adult mental health services as non-existent.
Dr Barry, a best-selling Irish medical doctor based in County Louth, went on to say that "...in Australia they have managed to get around this problem by realising that young people are only mature [brain wise] at the age of 25. They brought in a system called *Headspace, which basically is scattered throughout Australia, which is allowing young people easy and free access to all of the mental health services they require."
*Headspace receives huge funding from the Australian government. In fact, only last month it was announced that $3AUS million had been pledged by the Federal Government who announced 10 new sites for the Headspace youth mental health service will begin operating by the end of the year. [Source ABC News Australia]
Dr Harry Barry is a board member of AWARE, a depression support organisation.
AWARE offers a diagnostic tool on its website, a three minute assessment for anxiety, depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder.
The tool, known as the M-3, was created by primary collaborators Robert M. Post, MD Head of the Bipolar Collaborative Network, Bernard M. Snyder, MD Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and a cognitive behavioral therapist, Michael L. Byer, President of M3 Information and Gerald Hurowitz, MD Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and a clinical psychopharmacologist.
You can read more about the diagnostic tool here - they have even launched it on Apple iPad.
I'd love to know how McGorry's program actually works, indeed if either McGorry, Kutcher or Dr Harry Barry can tell me then I'd be most grateful. Pre-drugging a child simply because his parent, grandparents or great-grandparents had some form of mental illness is not science, it's guess work and it is wrong to treat guess work with powerful antipsychotic and Atypical antipsychotic medication.
Be careful what boxes you tick folks... you could be labelled as having a mental disorder - not now...but sometime in the near future.
Time for McGorry and co to fire up that old Delorean.
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Early Intervention, Halifax Nova Scotia, Patrick McGorry, Paxil 329, Politics, Scientology, Stan Kutcher