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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Government & Elections : Health & Drugs

Proposition 63 on the Nov. Ballot

Mental health care is important, and a good idea, but this initiative has problems.
The bureaucratic allies of Prop.63 have a narrow-minded approach to treating illness, and do not produce the results they claim. Medically, their approaches fill people with drugs, but do not give them a cure. Politically, they define 'mental illness' so broadly as to include nearly everybody. And scientifically, their methods are incomplete, and leave out of the equation the physical and environmental factors that impact a person's health and well being. All that aside, the goal of eliminating homelessness, one of the aims of this initiative, is noble but the funding structure of the system propped up by this initiative will only perpetuate the sad cycles of dependency- and that helps no one. It just sounds good and there certainly will be unforeseen consequences, e.g., many more children diagnosed as "needing" strong psychotropic drugs.
Those concerned about this would do well to read
Herb Kutchins, "Making Us Crazy--DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders", Free Press 1997

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Re: Proposition 63 on the Nov. Ballot

Another book that a recommend is "Crazy In America". The book documents the history of psychiatric abuse in this country up to the present time. I recall that one of the facts presented (and documented) is that there is a higher recovery rate for those diagnosed with schizophrenia in the underdeveloped country of Nigeria where most got no treatment for the disorder than in the United States. The book also helps document how useless and dangerous the drugs being prescribed for mental illness really are.

I suggest people vote no on 63.

Robert Whitaker's Mad In America is a definitely a good read

I second Steve's suggestion. The name of the book is Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker. If you use the search function on this website, you can find selections from the book. Hopefully the Whitaker interview will be archived soon at .

Re: Proposition 63 on the Nov. Ballot

The NO on 63 Campaign

Friday, October 21, 2004

Proposition 63 Earns Opposition of Regional Psychological Treatment Center

Rare move by Fresno community organization contrasts with overt
politicking by similar groups backing Proposition 63

FRESNO, CA‹ Today the NO on 63 campaign announced the support of the
Fresno-based San Joaquin Psychotherapy Center in opposition to the deeply
flawed Proposition 63.

"While the wealthy special interests backing Proposition 63 have a long
history of partisan political activity, community organizations like the San
Joaquin Psychotherapy Center are often too busy working to engage in
political campaigning," explained campaign spokesman David Yow. "The San
Joaquin Psychotherapy Center is one those that disagree with their much more
political colleagues who claim to speak for those who treat mental illness."

Led by Dr. Kevin McCready, Ph.D, the San Joaquin Psychotherapy Center "is a
community-based treatment center offering a broad range of innovative
psychological services including comprehensive day treatment along with
traditional individual and group therapies," according to its website.

Opposition to Proposition 63 continues to rally in recent weeks, with
Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Tom McClintock, the Oakland Tribune, the
San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Contra Costa Times publicly joining the
statewide line-up of leaders and organizations dedicated to protecting
Californians from the dangerously-flawed measure.


Re: Proposition 63 on the Nov. Ballot

FAQ: But aren't the government programs funded in Prop 63 effective?

According our brainy economic analysts, it is simply impossible that a
program begun in 1999 can have yielded enough data to allow the conclusion
that this particular model of government program is "innovative" and
"effective." The claim is made that these programs are "successful," but
the criteria and evidence for such success are nowhere to be found in the

That these (similar) programs have "demonstrated their effectiveness" in
terms of "providing services" of various kinds is not the same as
effectiveness in terms of reducing mental illness, or the manifestations of
it. This is a bit of sleight of hand on the part of the authors. Nor is
any evidence presented that state and local costs have declined as a result.


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