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Mental Health Watchdog Group Educates Over 146,000 Families on Their Rights Under the Baker Act

/EIN News/ -- CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “We are on a crusade to stop the unjust, involuntary examination of children in Florida without parental consent,” said Diane Stein, President of The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida at a seminar at the group’s headquarters in downtown Clearwater. As a result of their campaign, Stein said that CCHR Florida has reached over 146,000 families, educating families on their rights and exposing unnecessary involuntary examinations of minors in Florida. CCHR Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog, established by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969 is dedicated to the eradication of abuses committed under the guise of mental health. 

The mental health law in Florida, commonly known as the Baker Act, allows for the initiation of involuntary psychiatric examination of anyone no matter their age and this includes children. 

Seen as a statewide problem, the number of children in Florida being sent for involuntary examination has continued to climb with a 50 percent increase from 2010 to 2015 according to statistics just released and a recent BuzzFeed article highlighted the abuse that is all too common in the system.

The BuzzFeed article tells the story of a 6-year-old child whose parents said the boy had merely thrown a tantrum but who ended up in a hospital owned by America’s largest psychiatric chain, Universal Health Services (UHS). According to the article, the child was held for three days and the UHS facility, River Point Behavioral Health, filed a court petition to keep the child longer. While in the hospital, the boy suffered a bloody nose and was locked in a seclusion room in the middle of the night.

There are five UHS facilities in Florida under investigation by the Federal Department of Justice and the Office of the Inspector General.

“Our Abuse Hotline receives calls on a weekly basis from the parents of children that have been Baker Acted without their consent,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida.  “And unfortunately we are finding that the majority of these children don’t even meet the criteria for involuntary psychiatric examination.”

CCHR FL launched a new website designed to make the public more aware of this abuse of the law.  Concerned parents are encouraged to contact CCHR Florida to learn more about their rights under the law at 800-782-2878. For more information visit www.cchrflorida.org.

About CCHR:
CCHR’s 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.’”

Media Contact:
Diane Stein
President, CCHR Florida
727-442-8820
diane@cchrflorida.org
www.cchrflorida.org

Distribution channels: Culture, Society & Lifestyle