A funny thing happened after Dr. E. Fuller Torrey’s article calling for the abolition of SAMHSA was published by National Review, and a video of our founder explaining the article was posted on YouTube.
Some of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency’s more frivolous “products” started disappearing from its website.
In his YouTube video, Dr. Torrey questioned the use of tax dollars for a “Mental Well-Being Sticker Set” when the agency couldn't fit to so much as a passing mention schizophrenia or bipolar disorder into its recent 41,804-word three-year plan. Not long after we posted the video, the stickers disappeared from the site.
In his National Review article, Dr. Torrey made note of SAMHSA’s use of tax dollars to underwrite meetings like the Fifth Annual Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. In no time at all, the announcement, “Please note that SAMHSA will not fund any Conference Grants in FY 2011,” appeared on the site (right column).
For now, Wally Bear and Friends Coloring Book to "promote healthy behavior" remains on the website but can't be ordered; it's out of stock.
THANK YOU to all who commented and/or voted in one or more of the three forums that SAMHSA opened to comment about its proposed "guiding principles of recovery" from mental illness. Many excellent comments were posted, and several were among the most strongly supported comments. The comment period is now closed, but you can continue to read the comments on the SAMHSA website.
Needless to say, the call for SAMHSA to be abolished wasn’t about getting rid of coloring books or conference subsidies. It was about the bureaucratic insanity of taxpayers spending $3.6 billion a year funding an agency that purportedly promotes “mental health” and yet funds groups that actively lobby against reform to mental health treatment laws while systematically ignoring the two most serious diseases that undermine mental health: schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
To learn more, read “Bureaucratic Insanity: The federal agency that wastes money while undermining public health,” June 20). For tips on effective advocacy, visit Get Involved.