Mental Health Month Marketing Fuels Billion Dollar Psychiatric Industry

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There are over 78 million people taking psychiatric drugs in the United States with global sales reaching $76 billion a year.

May has traditionally been observed as Mental Health Month since 1949. The stated purpose of this observance is to raise awareness on mental health issues. However, the motives behind this observance come into question when normal human responses to stress are viewed as signs of potential mental illness. [1]

During Mental Health Month, individuals interested in learning more about mental illness are driven via posters and social media to websites where they can take a series of quizzes called screening tools which are touted as the quickest and easiest way to determine if someone is experiencing “symptoms” of a mental health condition. [2]

According to the Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), these quizzes are everywhere and they are simply tools to generate new business for a very profitable psychiatric drug industry.

With global sales reaching $76 billion a year, psychiatric treatment is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world and according to IMS Health, a company that provides information, services and technology for the healthcare industry, there are over 78 million people taking psychiatric drugs in the United States. [3,4]

As reported in Scientific American, 1 in 6 American adults reported taking a psychiatric drug in a 2013 study. [4] This same study notes that there are demographic differences such as older adults reporting a higher rate of psychiatric drug use and nearly twice as many women as men reporting psychiatric drug usage. In comparison to other developed countries, Americans use more medicines overall and rank first in the use of antipsychotics. [5]

“What these screenings don’t tell a person is that the help they will most likely be offered is a prescription and that there are dangerous side effects to taking psychiatric drugs,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida.

To learn more about psychiatric drugs and dangerous side effects that can lead to suicidal ideation and completed suicide, please call 727-442-8820 or visit

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. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “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,’” he wrote in March 1969.


[1] Mental Health Awareness Month


[3] Total Number of People Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the United States

[4] Psychiatry: Hooking Your World on Drugs

[4] MENTAL HEALTH: 1 in 6 Americans Takes a Psychiatric Drug – Antidepressants were most common, followed by anxiety relievers and antipsychotics

Release ID: 89019539