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Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

UK NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY: An Open Letter





Between us all, we look back now on years and years of trying to raise awareness of the risks associated with SSRI/SNRI drugs - and all that seems to have happened is that prescribing of these drugs has continued to soar exorbitantly. Many of us have lost family members and friends and have seen for ourselves the terrible consequences of the effects of SSRI/SNRIs. Others have experienced for themselves the horrific adverse effects of these drugs and are desperately trying to warn others and to pass on their own expert experience. Many of us have voluntarily undertaken huge amounts of research and made significant contributions - and want to share what we have learned and are learning. Peter Gordon's 'Timeline of |Missed Opportunities' film summarises what has happened since 2002 - and how the National Suicide Prevention Strategy is deeply flawed by the flagrant disregard for the known (and heavily suppressed) risks of these mass-prescribed drugs.

Having been repeatedly ignored, 'blocked' and fobbed off by those with whom we have tried to communicate - we felt a need to share what we now can, and however we can, as a means of public safety education. If those in authority won't do what they are ostensibly employed to do - then we will do whatever we can do ourselves.

Lead author, Marion Brown, is a retired psychotherapist & mediator. Her late husband was a GP, who ran into severe medication difficulties himself (after 20+ yrs on Seroxat) and ended his life in 2011.



OPEN LETTER TO UK GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE & ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY
ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, N IRELAND & WALES


3 March 2020

UK NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY:  SSRIs/SNRIs and AKATHISIA risks

We write to express extreme alarm at the way our concerns – expressed over more than a decade to a considerable number of individuals and groups, representing various committees, specialities, institutions and departments in the UK – have been, and are being, apparently quashed.

Current ‘expert’ advice on suicide prevention, which is now accepted government policy, is that SSRI/SNRI drugs are prescribed to any patient who indicates they may be feeling suicidal or have suicidal thoughts. Our concern is that SSRI/SNRI drugs can themselves cause such suicidal thoughts/impulses - and also a very serious adverse drug reaction called AKATHISIA, the symptoms of which are so unbearable that they can lead people to end their own lives. This fact is not recognised by governments, the NHS or the public, and is not mentioned in the national ‘Suicide Prevention Strategy’, despite our efforts to draw this important issue to the attention of responsible individuals and departments. Many people ARE INDEED dying avoidable deaths by iatrogenic suicide – when suffering known and/or extreme and unrecognised adverse prescribed drug effects.

Our efforts have been extensive, and most recently resulted in the online publication of a short film compiled by Peter Gordon, retired NHS psychiatrist, with input from several contributors: ‘A Timeline of Missed Opportunities’. This has already been widely shared on Social Media.

Please watch this short film - and also read the Replies/Comments section (found at the foot of the blogpost) where further correspondence has been added, including a letter dated 28 Feb 2020 from the UK Department of Health and Social Care (Ref: DE-1204751).

We are sharing this open letter on social media and with the press as we consider this to be a very serious matter indeed – where the lives of countless people are being knowingly and recklessly put at risk by national ‘Suicide Prevention Strategy’ and ‘Policy’. The public – and indeed prescribers - are being cruelly misled. 

We ask specifically that the KNOWN RISKS of SSRI/SNRI drugs in particular (and indeed other medications which can cause akathisia) be fully recognised NOW - and action taken by Governments cascaded to EDUCATE all prescribers, healthcare professionals and the public on how to avoid or mitigate these risks.

Examples of our appeals can be found in this collection of letters published by the BMJ a few months ago. https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l5102/rapid-responses 

Signed
Marion Brown, Beverley Thorpe Thomson, Peter Gordon, Millie Kieve, Jo Watson, John Read, Peter Gotzsche, Catherine Clarke, Janette Robb, Stevie Lewis, James Moore, Bob Fiddaman, Dierdre Doherty, Kristina Gehrki, Fiona French, Alyne Duthie

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Further Reading

UK Suicide Expert: Akathisia Can Make People Suicidal

Louis Appleby Knew About Prescription Drug-Induced Akathisia in 2004

Suicide Expert Embroiled in Twitter Controversy

Akathisia Accredited 101 Course (Free sign-up and course)

MISSD (The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin)

Akathisia Alliance

SSRI - Induced Extrapyramidal Side-Effects and Akathisia (J Psychopharmacol.1998;12(2):192-214.review)



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