Rep. Tim Murphy (R. Pa.)came out swinging hard Wednesday at SAMHSA, during a House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. It was the third session Rep. Murphy’s subcommittee has held about mental illnesses and it was a good one.
SAMHSA has long been criticized by Dr. Fuller E. Torreyfor wasting money on “feel good” programs that are not evidence based, for not paying adequate attention to severe mental illnesses, and for funding organizations that advocate anti-psychiatry and anti-medical model views.
Chairman Murphy relied heavily on Dr. Torrey’s past and current criticisms in his opening statement. Among his – Rep. Murphy’s — specific criticisms were that SAMHSA doesn’t focus enough of its funding and programs on helping persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other severe illnesses, as evidence by the fact that it has only one psychiatrist on its staff and his expertise is substance abuse, not mental illness. SAMHSA was created to be the federal government’s main mental health agency.
How can the government’s number one mental health agency only have one psychiatrist on its staff of 574 employees? Murphy asked.