Because of a MindFreedom alert, many people wrote to the USA National Institute of Mental Health by the 21 Dec. 2007 deadline with comments about NIMH research goals over the next three to five years. Read some of the remarks and find out how to contact NIMH after the deadline.
With a few exceptions, NIMH has mainly promoted and researched a drug-based approach to mental health problems.
Updates 22 Dec. 2007
Thank you to the many people who have e-mailed NIMH from all over USA because of the below alert!
If you missed the 21 Dec. 2007 deadline you can still contact NIMH about their goals, priorities, and activities. We at MindFreedom have found that NIMH does answer reasonable questions in a timely way, even though we frequently have very much disagreed with what they say.
Here is the web address for contact information to reach NIMH, including via the Internet:
Below is the alert that in just six days led to many comments from all over the world to NIMH:
E-mail in your comments to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) about a draft of their “Strategic Plan.”
Deadline: Today, Friday, 21 December 2007
NEEDED: Voices for Choices in Mental Health!
Why you ought to call on NIMH for research on more CHOICES in mental health system other than drugs, drugs, drugs and more drugs.
One of the biggest funders of research in the mental health field on Earth is the USA National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
NIMH is requesting public comment, which you can e-mail to them, about a draft of their “Strategic Plan” about NIMH research goals over the next three to five years. Their deadline to receive e-mail comments is *today* Friday, 21 December, 2007.
MindFreedom International has a copy of the 26-page NIMH Draft Strategic Plan. Here is…
NIMH DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN — BY THE NUMBERS!
- 98 – number of times NIMH draft uses any of words “drug, medication, biological, illness, disease, genetics”
- 38 – number of times NIMH draft uses word “brain”
- 16 – number of times NIMH draft uses word “recovery”
- 2 – number of times NIMH draft refers to the “mind”
- 0[zero] – number of times NIMH draft uses any of the words “counseling,consumers, survivors, peer, mutual support, empowerment,self-determination, rights, employment, jobs, housing, psychosocial,wholistic, holistic, psychotherapy”
Unfortunately, the lion’s share of NIMH research on mental wellness in the past has with few exceptions gone to the following ten (10) research areas:
NIMH is considering getting into an 11th area.
And that would be “more drugs.”
Seriously, MindFreedom is pro-choice about personal health care decisions, and many MFI members choose to take prescribed psychiatric drugs. But we all stand UNITED in saying that the corporate drug industry model is choking out non-drug choices, including jobs, housing, peer support, psychosocial approaches, and more.
Only one choice is no choice at all!
So why bother to e-mail in your comments?
Because, at least, that way NIMH can’t claim they never heard from citizens with another point of view!
* * * ACTION ACTION ACTION * * *
VOICES FOR CHOICES IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE!
ACT NOW! DEADLINE: Today, Friday, 21 December 2007.
E-mail in *your* civil comment to NIMH.
Sample message: Ask in your own words that far more non-drug choices be included in the draft plan!
Include your name and postal mailing address.
E-mail your comment to NIMH to:
If you wish, bcc your comment to email@example.com for possible publication on this MFI web site.
You can read about the NIMH request for comments here:
or use this web address:
You may download a PDF (789 kb) of the draft of the NIMH strategic plan here:
or use this web address:
Again, you may e-mail your comment to NIMH to:
Why You Ought to Bother to E-Mail Your Input Into NIMH About their Draft Strategic Plan
by Tom Wilson
This is an opportunity to contribute your thoughts to the direction and funding of mental health research in the USA over the next 3 to 5 years.
If we do not respond we can expect more of the same:
New drugs and more new drugs.
As we know, silence gets us no where, please respond!
If we want to get past temporary stability at a terrible cost through drug therapy it is imperative that we get research dollars focused dollars elsewhere also.
MindFreedom board member Al Galves, PhD, said,
“I believe it is important to continue studying the brain, nervous system and its functioning. However, the scientific evidence is that direct manipulation of brain chemistry and brain structure through psychotropic drugs, electroconvulsive treatment and other psychosurgery is only marginally effective in helping individuals who are diagnosed with behavioral health disorders when compared to placebo and is very harmful.
“I would encourage the NIMH to put a significantly larger percentage of its budget and its effort into research on a wide variety of interventions that are more likely to be helpful to persons diagnosed with behavioral health disorders and less likely to harm them. Examples of such interventions include:
“* All kinds of non-drug psychotherapy – not just the ones that can be manualized. Included should be Gestalt therapies, psychoanalysis, other psychodynamic therapies, expressive therapies, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, hypnotherapy, modern group technique (based on Hyman Spotnitz’ work), body-centered psychotherapy, Reikian therapy, etc., etc., etc
“* Other forms of intervening to help persons diagnosed with behavioral health disorders including employment assistance, supportive housing, peer specialist training, Soteria-type houses, expanded clubhouses, traditional education, non-traditional education, self-directed care (giving patients control over some the money that is allocated for treatment), etc., etc., etc.
“The bottom line is that I encourage NIMH to spend a much larger percentage of its budget on research and demonstrations that promise to help people in the immediate future, i.e. within five to ten years. That is not true of brain research.”
– end of alert –
E-mail your comment to NIMH today, Friday, 21 December 2007: