EdWatch in the News


Point of View
Allen Quist and listener call-ins on NCLB and International Agreements (10/19/05)
Order the tape on POV website
Julie Quist on Teaching World Citizenship (10/14/2005)
Interview by Sharon Hughes with Debra Rae
Mind Matters - Mass Mental Health Screenings for All Americans: WhoReally Benefits?  (6/20/05)
Interview by David Cohen, Barry Duncan, and Marcia Barbacki
with Congressman Ron Paul, Allen Jones, and Dr. Karen Effrem
Annie Armen -
Dangers of Psychiatric Drugs: Part 3
Dangers of Psychiatric Drugs: Part 4
Dangers of Psychiatric Drugs: Part 8
Dangers of Psychiatric Drugs: Part 13

Newspapers and Journals on Mental Health:

Accuracy in Academia   (10/4/05)
Head Start to Nowhere  by Malcolm A. Kline
At its best, the record on the 40-year-old federal Head Start program was mixed. Now, the middle-aged government program is becoming downright dangerous, according to Karen Effrem, a director of EdWatch.org.

We've had 20 million children go through Head Start at a cost of $50 billion and we've had 600 studies of the program, Dr. Effrem, a Minnesota pediatrician, pointed out on the last broadcast of Accuracy in Academias Campus Report. Those studies, Dr. Effrem notes, show that when children do show progress in the program, as measured by the U. S. Department of Education, those gains disappear after the first year of primary school.
Star Tribune Interview (7/3/05)
New law: Schools can't force meds on kids by Rob Hotakainen and Melissa Lee,  Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondents
But Karen Effrem, a former pediatrician who lives in Plymouth and who testified before Congress on the issue two years ago, said that children are often incorrectly diagnosed. Sometimes, she said, the problem is simplyt hat they are watching too much television, eating a poor diet or are bored. She said the legislation does nothing to keep teachers from speaking out.

"What it does is prevent teachers from becoming physicians,"she said, adding that "there's a lot of overuse and forced use of medications going on."

Wall Street Journal 1/26/05 interview

Children's Depression-Drug Use May Rise, Guideline Critics Say byHollister Hovey at http://online.wsj.com/search#SB110669008910835726
"The problem is that we don't know which recommendations that they're going to take," said Karen Effrem, a screening opponent who sits on the boards of EdWatch, the Alliance for Human Research Protection and the International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry.

"There's no discussion about protecting families from coercion toscreen," Dr. Effrem said. "There's no discussion about what happens if parents say no. There's no widespread protection against medication coercion, either."
 ...Part of the controversy around the pending government guidelines stems from the commission report highlighting the Texas Medication Algorithm Project, which has been criticized because of conflicts of interest linked to the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Effrem said.
British Medical Journal  (11/5/04)
Bush's plan to screen for mental health meets opposition in Illinois by Jeanne Lenzer
* http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/329/7474/1065-a?ehom  or
* http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/04/11/05a.php
"If it wasn't for public pressure, they wouldn't have made these changes," said Karen Effrem, a paediatrician and outspoken critic of the screening plan who cautions that definitions of mental illness are subjective and subject to cultural biases.
Washington Times (10/31/04) - op-ed, reprinted at
* http://www.edwatch.org/updates/111004.htm  or
* http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/04/10/31.php

Internet Mental Health

Education Reporter (via EdWatch 12/28/05)
Government Shrinks in the Nursery by Karen R. Effrem, M.D.
Academic elites, bureaucrats, and front groups for the pharmaceutical industry are promoting a cradle-to-grave mental health screening, labeling and intervention system for all infants, and toddlers.
NewsMax (2/19/05)
Your Kids are in Danger by Wes Vernon
Think this is paranoia? Dr. Effrem has done some tracking and has found instances where this kind of intrusiveness is going on already. In fact, the president's New Freedom Commission reports aggressive promotion of mental health screening in various stages in almost three-quarters of the states, plus D.C. and Guam. (See below)

Dr. Karen Effrem, a pediatrician from Plymouth, Minn., was in Washington earlier this month to enlist support from lawmakers for HR-181, sponsoredby Rep. Paul (also a physician, by the way). This writer talked with Dr.Effrem when she was here and followed up with requests for details, which she provided.

Rep. Paul's measure would forbid the funding of NFC recommendations that include universal mental health care screening and "treatment with ineffective, dangerous medications," as was explained to NewsMax.

Aside from Dr. Effrem's EdWatch, where she serves on the board of directors, the highly respected Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has taken an interest in this matter. That organization's executive director, Dr. Jane Orient, writes...
WorldNetDaily (9/9/04)
Forced mental screening hits roadblock in House
Rep. Ron Paul seeks to yank program, decries use of drugs on children
by Ron Strom at http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40365
Karen R. Effrem, M.D., is a physician and leading opponent of mandatory screening. She is on the board of directors of EdWatch, an organization that actively opposes federal control of education.

"I am concerned, especially in the schools, that mental health could be used as a wedge for diagnosis based on attitudes, values, beliefs and political stances things like perceived homophobia," Effrem told WorldNetDaily.

"There are several violence-prevention programs that do say if a person is homophobic, they could be considered potentially violent."