CCHR Launches Campaign to Reduce Involuntary Examinations of Seniors in Florida

In honor of National Senior Citizens Day, Citizens Commission on Human Rights is launching a campaign to help protect the elderly from abuse under the mental health law in Florida with a workshop on Advanced Mental Health Directives on Sunday, August 21st, at the center located in Downtown Clearwater. CCHR opened its Florida headquarters just over one year ago in Downtown Clearwater.

CCHR Florida volunteers with local resident at an event in Largo
CCHR Florida volunteers with local resident at an event in Largo.

An advance directive is a written document expressing a person’s wishes for treatment, services and other assistance they want during a mental health crisis. This document is a clear statement of the person’s medical treatment preferences and can also be used to grant legal decision-making authority to another person until the crisis is over.

“When government insurance coverage for electroconvulsive therapy takes effect, 65-year-olds receive 360 percent more ECT treatment than 64-year-olds in the United States,” stated Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “With studies showing that ECT shortens the lives of elderly people significantly, it is our duty to educate and help senior citizens on their rights, and help them to put in place advance directives that will ensure their treatment wishes are honored.”

CCHR will be hosting a weeklong open house following the Advanced Mental Health Directive Workshop on August 21st and for more information on the workshop, the open house on the protection of elder rights under the mental health law please call 727-442-8820.

About Citizens Commission on Human Rights:

Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, 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.’”

After discovering that 55 percent of foster children in Florida had been prescribed powerful mind-altering psychotropic drugs, CCHR documented the abuse to the health department which initiated changes that led to a 75 percent reduction in prescriptions for children under six.

Considered a potentially abusive marketing tool for psychiatrists, CCHR Florida led the charge that got “Teen Screen,” mental health screening of school children, banned from Pinellas County schools in 2005. For more information, visit