Inside Illinois
IL Children's Mental Health Act - good intentions gone very wrong - six letters

Thursday, August 19, 2004

(See related columns/letters below)

Thank you, Illinois Leader for your coverage of the Illinois Children's Mental Health Act as well as the linkage to President Bush's New Freedom Report ["IL Children's Mental Health Plan gives legislators headache," August 17, 2004].

I have been following the Illinois Children's Mental Health Act preliminary plan's call to action. Unfortunately, there appear to be many similarities between the Republican President’s New Freedom Report and Democratic Governor Blagojevich's Mental Health Partnership.

There is increasing pressure on parents by school staff to have their children put on drugs (Ritalin, anti-depressants, et al) in order for these young growing bodies to sit in a classroom. There are studies regarding the dangers of these drugs on children. Understanding that there are a few cases of children with physical imbalances that can be corrected via drugs, I still find the oversight message very disturbing.

From the President's mandate: "(c) Formulate policy options that could be implemented by public and private providers, and federal, state, and local governments to integrate the use of effective treatments and services, improve coordination among service providers, and improve community integration for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances."

The above is an invasive implementation of policy in regards to parental and family control. Many Illinois school districts already have five school contacts allowed with a guidance counselor or social worker without notification of parents and/or subsequent disclosure to parents of any information regarding their children. These policies will only suck in more governmental agencies to "partner" with the school system, but will not respect and recognize the importance of parental control.

My family homeschools our two youngest children. President Bush's quote: "And like physical illness, it is treatable, especially when the treatment comes early;”

Followed by more of his plan: President Bush identified another obstacle, the fragmented mental health service delivery system. The President said that mental health centers and hospitals, homeless shelters, the justice and school systems have contact with individuals suffering from mental disorders but that too many Americans fall through the cracks of the current system. The President said he created the Commission to ensure “that the cracks are closed.”

The President concluded by saying, “We must work for a welcoming and compassionate society, a society where no American is dismissed, and no American is forgotten."

Zero to give years of age involves amazing but normal and non-standardized changes in a child's physical and mental functions. It is an infringement on individual rights to have this wavy line of "mental illness" hanging over children's and families' heads before and after compulsory attendance age regarding education. Universal mental health screening of pregnant women and their babies is unacceptable to my choice and freedoms as a homeschooler and even more as a native Illinoisan and United States citizen.

Using governmental agencies and systems to ensure "that the cracks are closed" is unfortunate.

I am very much a part of my community and my society. I am happy to not be a "partner" to any governmental agency. My children are under my husband's and my own "sovereign parental instruction;” I intend on keeping it that way and will fight any attempts to override the idea that we as parents need a bureaucratic "partner". I am very happy to be "forgotten" in the sense of the governmental Big Brother watching over my family.

I thought that the Republican Party was a minimalist legislation party, but this is not what I have seen in this administration. The President and other Illinois Republicans had my vote four years ago, but I am sorry to say that I am looking to alternative candidates.

I'll close with this quote [found on the web at] that was stated in 1973 but seems to be finally coming to implementation in 2004:

"Along the way to this milestone, important way stations were reached beyond the scope of this book to list. The strand I’ve shown is only one of many in the tapestry. The psychological goals of this project and the quality of mind in back of them are caught fairly in the keynote address to the 1973 Childhood International Education Seminar in Boulder, Colorado, delivered by Harvard psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce. This quote appears to have been edited out of printed transcripts of the talk, but was reported by newspapers in actual attendance:

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well-by creating the international child of the future."

Susan Ryan
Farmer City


I think we should all be on alert and concerned on this overreaching legislation. The room for abuse by over zealous and suspect "experts" in evaluating children is huge. Let me illustrate the nature of the concern. In the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday May 17, 2004, was an article with the heading: "Spending on attention deficit drugs for children under 5 soars 369%".

Behavioral medicines are now being targeted at our children whose only crime is they act like children. Who will safeguard the potential abuse in this system and why is it that today there needs to be such intervention? To me this is another example of shoddy thinking and supposed good intentions gone wrong.

Steve Kitcoff


I strongly disagree with any state or federal mandatory examination of my child's emotional, mental, and/or psychological health. My family's medical concerns are private matters and are none of the government's business.

I would never allow anyone to invade our minds, medical records, or home because "someone" or "group of idiots" recommends it because "it sounds good to me...”. As a Real Parent, I would be failing in my parental duties if I allowed anyone to probe into my child's mind, private thoughts, and/or imagination for any reason.

I take serious issue with the pharmaceutical companies’ pursuit to make plenty of "cold hard cash" while they breed and produce "legal drug addicts" for their own profit!

The victims of this outrageous idea would be the same "class members" the US Government regularly targets for experimentation and profit e.g., the poor, weak, minority, uneducated, under privileged, ignorant, unprotected, young, and vulnerable citizens of these "United States".

The nerve of these so called "elected pretenders" invading the right to privacy that the United States Constitution guarantees to us all. If this is such a great idea, then let their children be the first signed up, tested, placed in the data-base - labeled, drugged, and tracked for life!

If anyone would dare approach my child to administer any kind of "exam", on her other than routine classroom quizzes, test, or homework, they had better be prepared to face me, a "Real Mother," and our "family attorney" in the highest court of this land, the U.S. Supreme Court, on "civil, parental, and rights to privacy" violations and the United Nation on charges of violation of the treaty on the "prevention and crime of genocide"!

Ms. Toni Stith


This law is outrageous. And we in Illinois haven't even heard of it! How can we get it overturned? We do not want drug companies running the country.

Gina Orlando
Oak Park


I have been watching the comments about the Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 that was signed last year by the Governor and is now becoming a huge problem for not only the people of Illinois but also for the legislators, since what is being implemented seems different from what the legislators were voting into law.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate psychiatric violations of human rights and has been very active in getting the violations of human rights being proposed by the implementation of this law exposed to the public in Illinois. The Leader has been very instrumental in getting the word out regarding this horrible law.

The most insidious of the proposals is that pregnant women be screened before and after delivery for post partum depression. "Post partum" means after delivery and they want to screen women before delivery. This can only be for one purpose - to put the woman on psychiatric drugs "to prevent depression," but actually the drugs are so addictive and everyone knows the effects that drugs can have on babies in the womb - the children will be born addicted to the drugs. This is cruel and unusual punishment for the unborn to be sentenced to drug addition.

Please continue to get the word out on this law and get people writing to their state senators and representatives. The ramifications of this law go well into our children's futures and if it is up to the architects of the implementation of this law, those children will be on drugs for life. And the fat cat psychiatrists will walk away with money stuffed in their pockets - our tax money.

Lynn Ward
Citizens Commission on Human Rights


The screening of our children is just the beginning of the Pharmaceutical Industries intent to drug America and make them pay for it whether they agree to it or not.

It is well known this industry has been a huge contributor to many of our so called elected representatives who are compromising our elected mandate to watch out for the citizens' freedoms and what is best for all citizens instead of taking care of those corporations who fill their campaign chests with money.

The world we once knew no longer exists. Watching out for each other has been replaced in Washington by greed, obtaining fortunes, and re-election lies to keep their power and keep the money coming in. Their history over the past 20 years shows even our freedom of speech and our freedom of choice is for sale to the highest bidder to most of our elected so called representatives.

President Bush has taken this mission to an all time high with his tax cuts and no criminal accountability for Corporate America - and the Pharmaceutical Industry is one of the largest.

Unless the citizens stand together and throw out of office those elected who have passed laws favoring corporations over the citizens, we will all be working for corporate dictators who will own our country and it's citizens. We could all take lessons from our fore-fathers who rebelled against the British Tyrants that held them hostage.

Ila Swan
Vacaville, CA


Related columns/letters:
"Children's Mental Health task force hearings continue through Friday," July 21, 2004
"Eroding parental rights in IL - 2 letters," July 21, 2004
"GUEST OPINION: Maybe legislators should be mentally evaluated, too," July 23, 2004
"Mental health screening - six letters," July 23, 2004
"Leader readers express outrage with mental health screening plan for expectant mothers and children 18 yrs and younger," July 26, 2004
"GUEST OPINION: Universal mental health screenings: a call to rally," July 27, 2004
"GUEST OPINION: Universal mental health screening would be a waste of resources," July 28, 2004
"Some doctors weigh in on mental health screening," July 30, 2004
"LEADER LAMPOON: Mental health screening arrives in Illinois . . . too late," August 13, 2004
"Sexist mental health screening - two letters," August 16, 2004
"GUEST OPINION: Mental health and world citizenship - the history of government involvement," August 16, 2004
"IL Children's Mental Health Plan gives legislators headache," August 17, 2004
"It's simply a crazy idea - six letters on IL mental health screening," August 18, 2004


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