Screening for Mental Health, Inc. out of Massachusetts, has a program called "Signs of Suicide" which has been implemented in many public schools across the country. They receive millions in pharmaceutical funding. Tax records here: http://www.signsofsuicide.org They are also the ones that came up with the annual National Depression Screening Day.
Please write to the below Orange County, Florida school board chairman and cc the school board members and a few legislators who sponsored the SOS bill in Florida last year and may be filing the same bill this year. (e-mail addresses provided below) and let them have a piece of your mind - politely - and add that you saw the video in the news and that you don't want Signs of Suicide in schools.
The suicide movie is part of the SOS program. You can see the reference to: "Acknowledge, Care and Tell" right on their website here: http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/champions/MetroWest.aspx (last paragraph)
Student's Suicide Confession Lands Her In Mental Clinic
February 27, 2007
APOPKA, Fla. -- An Orange County father is furious after school officials sent his daughter to a mental health clinic.
Jenny Helmick, a student at Wolf Lake Middle School, went to a guidance counselor and ended up spending the night at Lakeside Alternatives, WESH 2 News reported.
Her father, Paul Helmick, said the situation started with a movie about suicide prevention. The movie is part of a district-wide program that teaches students to ACT; Acknowledge, Care and Tell if they or a friend shows warning signs of depression or suicide.
Helmick said he believes the school's student resource officer acted way out of line by invoking the Baker Act, which allows law enforcement to take someone in for emergency evaluation.
Although she can forget her troubles when riding her go-cart around the family farm, Helmick said she'll always remember how she ended up at Lakeside Alternatives, by admitting she had once thought about suicide.
"I was pretty honest and I guess honesty can get you to a good place and get you in a bad place and at this point I think it's really messed my life up at this point so far," Helmick said.
Helmick made her confession to Latasha Hanna, the SAFE coordinator at the middle school, who said she was just taking precautions.
"I never want to gamble with their lives. So when a student comes to talk to me, I take everything that they say very seriously and try to get them help if I can," Hanna said.
Helmick's father said it didn't help when the resource officer considered her a threat to herself and had her admitted to Lakeside.
"If my daughter did say she wanted to kill herself, the right thing for them should have been to make sure that they held on to that child until a parent was brought in to that school to meet with them," he said.
Helmick believes the Baker Act that allowed the student resource officer to take his daughter to Lakeside gives police too much power.
"Keep in mind, a police officer does not have medical experience on telling me whether my daughter is crazy or not," He said.
Helmick said the movie encouraged her to seek out the SAFE cooridinator because she felt depressed about problems with bullies. School officials said they are looking into those problems.
Administrators said there have been four students taken to Lakeside from Wolf Lake Middle School this year.
School board members and legislators:
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