CCHR Commemorates Courage and Sacrifice in Honor of Purple Heart Day

More than $4.5 billion dollars has been spent by the U.S. government to medicate soldiers and veterans and the U.S. Department of Defense has increased its prescriptions of psychiatric drugs by nearly seven times from 2005 to 2011.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog working to expose human rights violations in the field of mental health, is hosting an event at the historic Fort Harrison in honor of Purple Heart Day on Saturday, August 5th to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of those wounded or killed in service to the United States.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military award still presented to U.S. military members and Purple Heart Day is observed annually on August 7th in honor of those who received the award. This year, in commemoration of the recipients of this award, CCHR is hosting an event to raise awareness on key issues facing veterans today and what solutions exist to help them.

It is currently estimated that there have been 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded to men and women who were wounded or killed while members of the armed forces of the U.S. but this number seems to pale in comparison to the fact in 2012 more active duty service men and women committed suicide than died in combat.

Equally disturbing is that from 2010 to 2012, more U.S. soldiers died by suicide than from traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer and homicide and that one in six American service members is on at least one psychiatric drug.

“Despite repeated demands and promises of change, our active duty military and our veterans are killing themselves at an alarming rate,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “Effective action must be taken to protect those who so valiantly protected us.”

While the U.S. government has spent more than $4.5 billion dollars medicating soldiers and veterans, psychiatric drugs are not the answer as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Defense increasing its prescriptions of psychiatric drugs by nearly seven times from 2005 to 2011 while the suicide rate among veterans has surged 35 percent since 2001.[2]

During last year’s event hundreds of citizens joined active duty military, veterans and recipients of the Purple Heart Award where the speakers emphasized the need to honor those who work to protect this country and drew attention to the negative effects of psychotropic drugging of American soldiers. One speaker, a former Marine, stressed that the issues cannot be pushed aside with medication and that more efforts need to be focused on non-drug oriented solutions.

For more information on the event please call 727-442-8820 or visit

Behind the Epidemic of Military Suicides


Suicide Rate Among Veterans Has Risen Sharply Since 2001


About CCHR: 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.’”

Release ID: 221709