Inside Illinois
Mental health screening - six letters

Friday, July 23, 2004

(See related columns/letters below)

Is it for the children?

Regarding "IL launches compulsory mental health screening for children and pregnant women," July 19, 2004:

When I asked my husband how he thought it could possibly be that 107 legislators voted for this bill and only five voted against it, he implied what I know -- almost any bill can pass if it is deemed for the children.

Although I am quite thankful that I am not a resident of Illinois after hearing about this new law, I can't help but wonder how long it will take other states to jump on this bandwagon, as they did regarding Safe Haven laws and other anti-parent bills.

I agree wholly with letter writer Donna Clasen who wonders how long it will take before the government will begin taking away children from mothers who are not in perfect mental health, whatever that vague definition is.

The truth is that our taxpayer dollars are being used each day to take away children from supposedly incompetent mothers. Tax dollars are again used to subsidize adopters and foster caregivers of those children. Mothers who think they are immune from such treatment by our government are sadly uninformed.

Tricia Shore
Van Nuys, CA


Mental health bill is insane

Heaven help us! To think that a law so insane could be passed by such a majority, giving the state so much power over individual lives makes me shudder.

So many lives have already been destroyed by psychiatry and its ever-increasing number of "mental" illnesses that I wonder daily why this problem is not being dealt with by our government. Now our government is conspiring with psychiatry to destroy even more! What a nightmare! The families who have been harmed by psychiatric drugs have been crying out for some time now and no one seems to be listening.

Why have intelligence and common sense seemed to disappear from our society? Have people become robots, mesmerized by the many ads they see on TV that promise "health and happiness" from just taking a pill? Or is it because families have become too busy with all the many activities available to them and their children that they no longer have time to think?

Why doesn't our governor and legislators see that not only is personal health freedom being taken away from our families, but power and greed are the ruling force behind this law? It is so clear that drug companies have become more interested in the profits from the sale of more drugs than they are in helping people.

And mainstream psychiatry has completely ignored the many physical problems that can cause "mental" symptoms. They don't even check for them, and even deny they exist even though orthomolecular psychiatrists have been curing many of these problems with natural substances for at least 30 years now. Mainstream psychiatry has no scientific test that can determine the cause of a "mental" symptom; their diagnoses are all subjective. They write prescription after prescription for drugs that can be very harmful never knowing what the results are going to be. And many of those who have been injured or have had family members injured by this practice are fighting very hard to save the lives of others from these many horrors. Hopefully soon the real truth will come out before more families are harmed!

Edie Feiste
Clarendon Hills


Political and social hubris

The compulsory screening of children and pregnant women in Illinois under the Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 is a gross invasion of privacy and a dangerous imposition of fascist ideology on the educational system.

Most alarming of all, psychiatry is not a science, its pronouncements and interventions are entirely subjective. And assessments of young children will result in a population of targeted individuals destined to be socially controlled and behaviorally managed for the remainder of their lives, obstructing all their efforts at finding operative life paths in a society increasingly fearful of any who are different or harmlessly eccentric.

This measure is also merely another foray of the government in a new "war on the poor" to ensure perpetuation of a permanent, exploitable underclass of people whose sufferings or differences generate huge profits for the mental health industry, its proponents, and the out-of-control pharmaceutical industry.

In light of recent revelations regarding potential harmful impacts of the most popular antidepressants and the illicit ties among the FDA, the NIMH, the drug companies, research laboratories, and the stock market, the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 is only a barely disguised assault on the privacy of the children and pregnant women of Illinois for purposes of profit and power.

The Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 opens the gates to incursions into the personal lives and development of the most vulnerable among us -- children who have no vote or legal standing to oppose the social controls and "treatments" dictated from above.

Furthermore, this measure removes from communities, regions, and states the options of self-determination, collaboratively finding grassroots solutions to social and economic problems largely generated by disconnects between government ideologies and the actual circumstances of ordinary people, including the poor and the working poor who cannot even provide for themselves and their families because of current trends toward promotion of "corporate welfare" and Bush’s irresponsible policy of "imperial overstretch."

And in speaking of corporate welfare, let us be cognizant that most mental health policy in this country is driven by the needs of drug companies over and above the needs of mental health clients. Expanding the turf of the mental health system in Illinois by mandate will become a bonanza for drug companies, mental health professionals, and their sycophants at the expense of the mental health of persons targeted for unwanted, intrusive and coercive interventions.

Targeting and tracking whole populations for unwanted interventions is an act of political and social hubris. Why doesn’t the state just dump heavy amounts of elephant tranquilizers into the water supply to accomplish the social control agenda? Answer: Because the drug companies and the mental health system need an ever expanding population of exploitable human beings to secure and expand turf and influence while reaping outrageous profits on the backs of the poor, the vulnerable, the odd, the eccentric, and the disabled.

This piece of frankly fascist legislation must be stopped now before the children and pregnant women of Illinois are drugged into mindless, unresisting compliance by a government incestuously in bed with an over-reaching mental health system and a pharmaceutical industry blatantly putting profit motives above the safety and well-being of the citizens targeted for subjection for forced drugging and lifetimes of behavior management.

The brains of children are still in development up to the age of 21 years, and the effects of targeting these vulnerable beings for psychiatric interventions cannot be reversed. Whatever impacts ensue from a program of pharmaceutical and "chemical strait jacketing" at such early ages will be permanent, and there is a strong probability that the results will be detrimental to their human growth and development.

The Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 is, in actuality, a proposal by the mental health industry and the drug companies to induce brain damage in the interests of social control and economic exploitation.

Sue Poole
North Charleston, SC


Incompetent micromanagers of our children

Who will monitor the psychiatrists who perform the psychiatric evaluations? Is the Illinois State Board of Education capable of creating an appropriate psychiatric evaluation? Who evaluates the psychiatric condition of the State Board of Education?

The Illinois Department of Professional Regualtion (case #200400953) will not investigate the competency of licensed professionals without sufficient evidence. I requested an investigation of a psychiatrist. I provided sufficient evidence in the form of his own words. In a deposition, this psychiatrist admits to repeated, blatant violations of the Medical Practice Act. But now this sufficient evidence is not good enough because I am "not authorized" to request an investigation of my mother's care.

This psychiatrist, hired by an unlicensed nursing home, drugged my mother and ordered that she be isolated from her daughters. DuPage County Court required a doctor's order before the nursing home could refuse visitation. The nursing home hired the doctor specifically for the purpose of drugging and isolating my mother and intimidating me to keep quiet about the illegal licensing.

My mother refused to talk to this doctor. Without her consent, without an evaluation of her history or current condition, and even without her primary doctor's consent or knowledge, the psychiatrist prescribed Haldol and Risperdol (duplicate mind altering drugs), then refused to allow her daughters to visit (observe) her. That doctor's practice includes evaluating children and families and their issues in court cases (i.e. custody). He is still licensed.

My mother was a hostage while the nursing home made private arrangements to clear their non-compliance issues with the Health Facility Planning Board. Complaints were filed with Illinois Department of Public Health, but that only caused more intense hostility to be used against my mother. That facility retaliated against my mother and she died isolated and on drugs for the last seven months of her life. Illinois Department of Public Health knew of the hostility and defended the facility allowing them to create lies and deceptions in spite of the evidence that was presented. Illinois Department of Public Health inspections were a farce and only served to create more intense harm to my mother. I have several letters from state officials who are in total denial of the corruption in our system.

This doctor is protected by the State of Illinois. The facility was protected by the State of Illinois. We know the Health Facility Planning Board has been partially exposed, but do the people of the state of Illinois really know how deep the problem is? The "lawyers" claim privacy issues prevent investigation and total exposure of the corruption.

How will you defend your children after a psychiatrist and school system decide to drug them? Do you expect that the State of Illinois will protect your children? Will there be a "Board" for you to appeal to if you don't agree with the diagnosis? Will your opinion matter if you aren't a "professional"?

Schools, teachers (unions), psychiatrists, doctors, and lawyers all benefit and empower themselves through this outrageous mental health attack against our children. How many "special education" teachers and staff are in your school? How many children have been labeled in need of special education assistance? What happened to the teachers that could teach an entire classroom how to read? They are still out there, but now they are forbidden from succeeding in their jobs because the benefits to school are greater if the children don't succeed.

We can't trust the State of Illinois to micromanage our children when they are totally incompetent to manage the State of Illinois.

Joanne Palmisano
Burr Ridge


Just who are these "experts"?

I think this is inappropriate. Who are these experts that will be making the standards? Just because a child (even a pregnant woman) might not fit into their standardized test model or criteria wouldn't necessarily mean that they have a mental health issue. I am concerned that legislation of this type will cause a lot of false diagnosis and fear with parents.

If an expert makes a recommendation, does a parent have any recourse if they think their expert is wrong?

A mental health record mixed with a child's academic record -- what will this mean to their academic future? What about a family's right to privacy in dealing with mental health issues? I have witnessed such stigma attached to having a "mental health issue." Can you imagine how children will be treated differently by peers at school if it gets out that they have "a mental health issue?" Things to think about.

Andrea Cyr


A sham and a shame

I learned of this new screening that Illinois is doing yesterday. I think it is sad, tragic, prejudiced, and biased. This will not help as the psychiatric system as a whole is broken. Mental illness is not a scientific illness; this is a political agenda for the drug companies. And the drugs they are passing out are not scientific. These same drugs are being experimented with on the streets and getting people drug convictions.

This system is a sham and a shame. This legislation is biased toward the already weakest ones in society -- children and poor women. It is a shame to take a few peoples crimes and use them to label all women the same way. Please let's stop this from happening.

Forcible psychiatry and drugging up people is not the way to go. For more information on things like this, you can go to Men are not being screened in this way and as many of them as women are just as dangerous. This is prejudice legislation. We need to act now, not later. Stand up and just say No!, America.

I hope that this legislation does not set a precedent for other states, but I can say there are those of us out here ready, willing, and able to fight for our human rights in this system. We will not take it any more and I am proud to be counted among one of those that will fight it. Thanks.

Janie Lee
Eubank, KY


Related columns/letters:
"Children's Mental Health task force hearings continue through Friday," July 21, 2004
"Eroding parental rights in IL - 2 lettters," July 21, 2004
"GUEST OPINION: Maybe legislators should be mentally evaluated, too," July 23, 2004


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