new major U.S. mental health initiative on the docket, based on
a report of the New Freedom in Mental Health Commission, which
recommends mental health screening for adults and children as young
as preschool age, in primary care health settings, schools, and
correctional facilities. It also includes expanding school-based
mental health programs requiring specific treatments for specific
conditions, including the use of specific medications.
growing public opposition to universal mental health
screening, states are being encouraged by the federal
government to adopt the measure. Last month Illinois bureaucrats began
pushing through a plan passed into law by their
legislature to screen the mental health of all pregnant women and
children up to 18 years of age in their state. The plan also
includes discounted psychotropic drugs.
As reported in
Leader, Larry Trainor, a parent of four children and
Illinois contact for the
based Citizens Commission on Human Rights, said, "Since psychiatric
involvement in education, SAT scores have gone down for the past few
decades. Evaluating mental conditions is not based on scientific
evidence, it's subjective."
the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health's Executive
transformed mental health system, the early detection of mental
health problems in children and adults - through routine and
comprehensive testing and screening - will be an expected and
typical occurrence. At the first sign of difficulties, preventive
interventions will be started to keep problems from escalating. For
example, a child whose serious emotional disturbance is identified
early will receive care, preventing the potential onset of a
co-occurring substance use disorder and breaking a cycle that
otherwise can lead to school failure and other problems.
screening and early intervention will occur in both readily
accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care
facilities and schools, and in settings in which a high level of
risk exists for mental health problems, such as criminal justice,
juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. Both children and adults will be screened
for mental illnesses during their routine physical exams.
To aid in transforming
the mental health system, the Commission makes four recommendations:
the mental health of young children.
and expand school mental health programs.
for co-occurring mental and substance use disorders and link with
integrated treatment strategies.
for mental disorders in primary health care, across the lifespan,
and connect to treatment and supports.
New York Times reported last week that Dr. Andrew D.
Mosholder, a senior epidemiologist at the Food and Drug
Administration wrote a memo about a new study which confirms
his findings from 22 other studies showing that the use of
antidepressants for children is too dangerous because
of the suicide risk. However, "his superiors strongly
disagreed with his findings, kept his recommendations secret and
initiated a new analysis." The New York Times secured a copy
of his memo.
If you think
that the government and schools are intruding in an area that should
be the responsibility of parents and the family doctor then TAKE
Senator Frist (202-224-3344)
Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner at
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Committee Chairman Judd Gregg at 202-224-3324
Alert your State Legislatures: http://www.ncsl.org/public/leglinks.cfm
school board initiatives to add psychiatric personnel and screening
? Sharon Hughes 2004
Sharon is the President of The
Center for Changing Worldviews, and hosts Changing Worldviews TALK
Radio which is heard on KDIA AM1640 San Francisco; KGDP AM660
Santa Maria, CA and WITA AM1490 Knoxville,TN, as well as
online daily at Oneplace.com. Her column appears on several
online news sites including American
Daily.com, CaliforniaRepublic.org, ChronWatch.com, Ediblog.com, Laptoplobbyist, MichNews.com, Newsbull.com, NewsWithviews.com, RaidersNewsUpdate.com
RenewAmerica.us. For further
information visit her: