The campaign “Giù le Mani dai Bambini” (Hands off our children) has been awarded the “Silver Plate” by the Italian president Mr Giorgio Napolitano on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day 2007
“In the United States more than eleven million children are given amphetamines or psychiatric drugs daily in order to solve their inconvenience. In Italian schools, were recently initiated programs of mass screening to identify children suffering from psychological problems. If your child loses things, is inattentive at school, often interrupts teachers or is aggressive with his classmates, he/she is not necessarily is. Before subjecting him/her to a treatment with an uncertain outcome and with potentially destructive side effects, collect comprehensive information on our website, or contact our Committee to receive a free publication at home. Often a child only needs to be listened to carefully. Do not label your child. Listen!”
The above is the text printed on the back cover of the hundreds of thousands publications that our Committee has freely distributed throughout Italy, in schools, hospitals and families.
The tendency to submit children to extended psychiatric drugs-based therapy – in order to solve problems that probably should be dealt with pedagogical and educative methods – has become increasingly popular, and now concerns many millions of school and pre-school children throughout the West. By now this phenomenon has come to the attention of public opinion and media, and engages in a passionate debate most of the international scientific community. The most striking example is the so-called “attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder”, better known by the acronym ADHD, “disease” that is now being diagnosed since the first year of age, while its “cure” forecasts the prescription of psychiatric drugs, a treatment whose guidelines are contested by parents, teachers, doctors and journalists organizations for their excessive vagueness, which would put at risk of abuse when administrated to children and adolescents.
It’s a real trend, that of “categorizing” restless and unruly children as “mentally ill”: they are rebels, “causing trouble”, and the drug apparently becomes the best way to keep them at bay.
According to some authoritative medical sources, to which you will find many references in this site, this situation is also the result of the predominant biological-medical model of modern psychiatry, which traces back every psychological or behavioral problem to strictly physiological dysfunctions, leaving out other possible causes such as social or environmental ones. Here then everyone, including children, can potentially become a person affected by invasive psychiatric treatment: in Italy, more than 800,000 children have already been labeled as a potential target of this kind of therapeutic interventions.
The campaign “GiuleManidaiBambini” (Hands off our children) is promoted by the homonymous Committee (a non-profit organization of national interest) which uses the active contribution of many supporters and of part-time volunteering collaborators, in order to ensure the successful completion of numerous initiatives to raise awareness in the region. It’s not an initiative against a specific drug or against the interests of Big Pharma: the purpose is to stimulate debate among citizens – to provide answers to many questions raised by students, parents and teachers about the pros and cons of the psycho-pharmacological solutions at an early age – as well as to ensure a truly informed consent from the families, even to the benefit of the specialists involved.
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