EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
August 14, 2006
Minorities for Mental Health Research
"What we experienced in Minnesota last
month happened to blacks in Mississippi and Alabama. Parents and
residents were denied their God-given right to participate in matters
that affect them, their children and families."
"The latest report is that, while residents are voting today,
speakers are promoting the University's one-sided agenda and all voters
are receiving a promotional handout before they ballot. No opposing
speakers or handouts are being allowed to the microphone. "
The University of Minnesota is determined to build a $60-plus million
Mental Health Research Center in the middle of Minneapolis' North Side at
Plymouth and Penn. Area residents are just as determined to stop it. The
neighborhood is hungry for local business enterprise. They want economic
development on that prime spot. Jobs are scarce and gang violence is a
growing menace. The university finds that situation perfect for their
Mental Health Research Center.
The University Northside Partnership (Initiative)
North Side residents, the U refers to their plan as a "Family
Center," but to their own University personnel, the Initiative is a
"Research Center." In fact, the U sees the partnership between
university planners, mental health researchers and the inner city as a
model for the nation. The Minneapolis Star Tribune joined in to
editorialize in support of the Center, dismissing objections, calling for
the University to move forward with their plans, and then refusing to
print opposition letters from local North Side residents.
public meeting in May, 2006, university representatives explained to
skeptical parents and residents that they are talking with "many
people and organizations to better understand what the community needs
are and to develop joint plans to respond to those needs." The fact
is, however, that the university has had a plan in place at least since
when they hired Dante Cicchetti to head the program, more than a year
before residents had heard a whisper of it. A University handout at
the May meeting admitted they are "committed to creating
community-based program for Dante
Cicchetti" from New York.
holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and child development with
minors in behavior genetics, neuroscience and psychophysiology.
Behavioral genetics is based on the belief that genetics is the major
factor in determining behavior.
genetics is extremely controversial. Is there, for example, a genetic
marker associated with increased criminal activity? Why would Cicchetti,
a behavior geneticist, situate his Mental Health Research Center in a
high density minority and high crime area? Residents fear the same
intentions as the highly controversial and thoroughly discredited federal
Violence Initiative of the 1980's. Black children were compared with
"monkeys in the jungle" and targeted for spinal taps and
"preventive" psychotropic drug treatment, as chronicled in Dr.
Peter Breggin's book The War Against Children of Color.
University's Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) is also
tied into the Northside Initiative. CEED has been a prime mover at the
Minnesota legislature to set up an early childhood government system for
all and to authorize schools and government to oversee the mental health
of our children from birth.
Bridging Education and Mental Health" and the
Minnesota Infant Mental Health Project" are examples of their
focus, and CEED is developing an
and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program. This program
would train people in screening and intervening in the mental health of
babies, despite admissions by experts of difficulties in diagnosing and
despite the lack of scientific evidence for both drug and non-drug
Cicchetti's plan for studying the problems of Northside children and
families "from the molecular level", starting in infancy, has
hit a storm of resistance and outrage from parents who have seen their
children increasingly labelled and treated with prescription drugs for
mental health issues in the schools. While parents, many of them single
moms, battle to keep their kids off street drugs, the schools are forcing
them onto prescription drugs that are the chemical equivalent of cocaine.
Studying their children's genetic make-up and the supposed yet unproven
link to mental illness and crime rightly strikes them as racist.
Every Saturday since
February, 2006, when the mental health research plan came to light, a
protest has formed on the corner of Penn and Plymouth Avenues in North
Minneapolis. Carol White, Director of African Americans Concerned
Together (AACT) has done her research. As a parent, former Minneapolis
school board member and community leader, White represents the
determination of parents and community members to resist treating their
issues of broken families, crime, drugs, and poor school performance as a
psychopathology of their infants, toddlers, adolescents and adults.
don't want invasive probing, therapy and another government
handout," White states. "We want to put our families back in
order, get our kids free of drugs, have quality education, and develop
businesses so we have jobs in our neighborhoods."
State Mental Health Plans
has cause for concern. The University's handout linked the Northside
Initiative with the
Mental Health Action
Group. The Action Group has a "Road Map"
for change, endorsed by the Pawlenty administration, which is
clear about its destination. Some of the purposes stated on page 162 are:
other words, the Road Map is for universal mental health
all Minnesota children, a plan that would establish the state as
overseer and definer of the mental health of the children of Minnesota.
This is unscientific, ineffective, unethical and simply not the role of
government in our families.
- Include mental health in all childhood screening;
- Conduct mental health screening in all health care settings;
- Incorporate mental health screening in all child care settings;
- Create a model for "intervention" for children. [This
almost always means drugs.]
clearly demonstrates that mental health screening is highly unreliable.
Mental health screening in children is very subjective and often falsely
labels young children for life. It is also very dangerous to the health
of our children, because treatment almost always results in prescriptions
for powerful, expensive drugs with dangerous, even fatal, potential side
effects, including suicide. FDA hearings revealed that 10% of boys in
K-12 are currently on medication.
and a Northside group called Parents Speak Out have given the University
notice that a Mental Health Research Center is unwanted in their
community. To re-establish credibility, the University partnered with a
local organization, the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC),
and with the League of Women Voters to have a neighborhood vote on their
plan. Senator Linda Higgins was also involved.
"vote," however, was a sham. "Emails and flyers announcing
the election," stated Carol White, "were sent or given to
people selected by board members and staff. If you didn't have email or
were not a friend or supporter of the Initiative, you would not have
we experienced in MInnesota last month," White continued,
"happened to blacks in Mississippi and Alabama. Parents and
residents were denied their God-given right to participate in matters
that affect them, their children and families." The "vote"
was closed more than an hour before the announced closing time. In an
overwhelmingly black neighborhood, seventy-five percent of those allowed
to vote were white. Even the University of Minnesota white staff were
allowed to vote.
grievance was filed against the groups overseeing the vote. The grievance
denounced the election tactics as oppressive, disrespectful, racist and
discriminatory on the part of the University and public officials. It
called on the University to cease and desist its Mental Health Research
A new vote
is scheduled for today, August 14th. Once again, balloting is marked by
voting irregularities. Election announcements have been spotty. The
balloting is limited this time to residents who didn't vote last month,
but results from the July election, which was open to anybody, will be
merged with today's vote. The latest live report from the single
balloting location is that, while residents are voting today, speakers on
microphones are promoting the University's one-sided agenda and all
voters are given a promotional handout prior to casting their ballot. No
opposing speakers or handouts are being allowed. The outrageous sham
similar reflection of rising public resistance to universal mental health
people rallied in Indiana last month to stop a state plan that would
subject every Indiana child to mental health testing. According to
opponents of the plan it would "steamroll parental rights on mental
health issues." One speaker stated, We do not believe government
should mandate mental health."
alarm on Infant Mental Health
The Dangers of
Universal Mental Health Screening" DVD, Karen R. Effrem,
MD, pediatrician, education researcher, and board member of EdWatch.
Friday, October 13, 2006 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2006 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites Hotel Airport
Karen R. Effrem, M.D.,
"Shrinks in the Nursery: The Merging of Mental Health and
Carol White, View
African Americans Acting Together (AACT)
Minority and Low-income Families as Psychiatric Guinea Pigs
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318 - 952-361-4931
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