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Easter in Taumarunui

Deb and I are sitting in McDonalds in Taumarunui using the free wi-fi. Casper now has 1,055 members. Many of them are people like those we have met over the past week in Whakatane,Rotorua and Taupo. People for whom holidays like Easter are times of sadness and grief due to the absence of a loved one who suicided.

First two stops on the Know the Facts tour

Hi Everyone

Deb and I set off on Friday for a tour of the North Island, taking the facts about suicide to the community. We have booked a series of free community presentations around the Island which present NZ's suicide statistics, the research showing why New Zealand's suicide prevention strategy is such a failure and what the research says about what an effective strategy would look like.

Effect of Antidepressants Non Existant or Negligible in Mild, Moderate and Severe Depresson.

A new study on the effectiveness of antidepressants has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It backs up two previous studies which show antidepressants have little or no effectiveness in treating mild, moderate…or even severe depression. (see the research tab for the full study by Fournier et al.)

For everyone who says

But antidepressants help millions of people…

Antidepressants saved my life…

There are side effects with every drug but the benefits of antidepressants outweigh the risks for most people…

Is CASPER's focus inclusive?

I returned a couple of days ago from the United States where I got to meet a group of other parents whose children had killed themselves as a result of antidepressant or antipsychotic drug use. My son's suicide left me with a feeling of belonging to nothing and fitting nowhere which persists to this day. Being with these families allowed me to feel there is a group to which I belong (despite wishing I didn't) and that I fit within the growing international army of angry mums and dads demanding an end to the fatal practice of labelling and drugging of children.

Suicide and Financial Stress

On the front cover of USA today on Wednesday was a graph which showed that for 39% of people, dying was their greatest fear while for 61% of people their greatest fear was outliving their money. In our society, those without financial resources face homelessness, hunger and the inability to participate in their communities. They are also vilified as evidenced by the comments of our Prime Minister who said recently that those who use foodbanks do so because of their own poor choices.

The Toran Amendment

I will never forget the shock I felt the day I learned that the antidepressant given to Toran 15 days before he died is not approved by the NZ government for children under the age of 18. I couldn't understand how a doctor could give a child a drug that Medsafe (the medicines regulator) has not approved on the grounds the risks (including suicide) outweigh any benefits.

Adverse Reaction Reporting

In New Zealand we monitor the safety of prescription drugs through CARM - the Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring. The system is supposed to work like this: medical professionals report any adverse reactions or side effects they suspect may be related to prescription drug use. CARM collect these reports and they are analysed to identify any risks associated with particular medications. Here's why it doesn't work: medical professionals don't report.

Our Childrens Records - A Trend??? My experience with obtaining my deceased childs personal records

Since Cloud committed suicide from a broken heart in Jan 2008 I have been forced to undertake my own investigation into her death. So far the Coronor, The Cheif Coronor, and the Police have refused to obtain family planning records, or Clouds sexual abuse court records and evidential video. Requests dating back to 2008 for family planning records.

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