EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
September 22, 2006
in an uproar over the children's mental health plan that passed their
legislature last year. As it turns out, few lawmakers actually knew what
it was. In a scenario disturbingly similar to the stealth passage of
Illinois' 2004 mental health plan, legislators were poorly briefed with
one-sided information, resulting in their being blind-sided by growing
public anger as the plan unfolds.
Against Children's Mental Health Plan
Indiana plan wants all Indiana children tested for mental health "as
a part of routine examinations in schools and by health care
providers." [Senate Enrolled Act 529] Opponents of the
state-directed plan have organized public demonstrations against what
they consider a violation of parents rights as it relates to their
children's mental health. When Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed the
law last spring, he bragged about the direction this sets for the entire
nation. This year, however, legislators may repeal the entire
of Indiana, as in Illinois, has set itself up as the arbiter of what is
"normal". This alarms many parents who have some sense that
psychiatry has been hijacked by special interest groups who aren't
relying on science at all, but rather, are pushing political agendas. An
even greater fear is the excessively high unreliability of the mental
health testing in children. Many children will mistakenly be labeled and
diagnosed with mental illnesses, which often leads to parents being
pressured or forced to drug their children with anti-depressants,
psychotropics or stimulants, such as Ritalin, intended to control
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other labels.
TeenScreen, for example, which will be part of this plan, has a false
positive rate of 84%, an outrageous outcome that would disqualify any
other program. Mental health pushers, however, are undeterred.
Pediatrician Dr. Karen Effrem of EdWatch reviewed the Indiana plan (see
Indiana's Mental Health Plan) and
identified several of its "dangerous assumptions" and
"incorrect concepts." Considering that similar plans are in the
works in most states, people in every state have an interest in reviewing
example, one dangerous assumption
is that setting norms for and intervening in the social emotional and
behavioral health for all children, beginning at birth, is the proper
role of government. Effrem cites the "Early Warning, Timely
Response" federal violence prevention program as an example of the
dangers of government oversight of mental health. In that program,
warning signs for potential mental health and violence problems include
intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes.
The description of this
warning sign states, All children have likes and dislikes. However,
an intense prejudice toward others based on racial, ethnic, religious,
language, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and physical appearance
when coupled with other factors may lead to violent assaults
against those who are perceived to be different. [Page 10,
emphasis added.] This statement smacks of politically correct diversity
outcomes, which horrifies many parents.
collection of essays co-authored by two past presidents of the American
Psychological Association (APA) raises the same questions. The book
challenges the entire credibility of the practices and policies of
professional mental health organizations. Many in the field who had
initially agreed to contribute chapters to the book, Destructive
Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm, by Rogers
Wright, Ph.D. and Nicholas Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D, later withdrew, fearing
loss of promotion, denial of tenure, and even shunning.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, used to
identify forms of mental illness, is considered "out of
control" by a growing number of critics. The 375
"official" disorders include labels like "intermittent
explosive disorder, IED" (the psychiatric label for road rage). One
schizophrenia expert says, "Your grandmother would say these are bad
folks who can't control their temper, and she would be right." The
ever-growing list of mental illnesses are vaguely defined, yet they are
being used as the basis for labeling and treatment.
recent additions to the DSM mental ailments for children are
"mathematics disorder, reading disorder and disorder of written
expression," according to a July 17, 2006 article ("Behaving
badly has disorder to call its own") in the Baltimore Sun.
"Based on definitions in the DSM-IV, naughty children can be
diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder," the article states.
psychology is the only profession ever censured (unanimously) by
Congress for the APA Journals published argument that sexual
molestation of children is harmless. After that, why should the
profession be treated with the least credibility?
state systems for universal screening of infants, preschoolers, teens,
pregnant mothers, people with other sicknesses, the poor, and the elderly
are moving into place rapidly, as seen in Indiana and Illinois, using
federal tax money to get going, in spite of questions raised.
is using the suspect mental health profession and its associated
pharmaceutical lobby to define normalcy for the entire nation of
children. The authors of Destructive Trends blow the whistle on
psychiatry as issuing politically correct edicts, but those edicts are
now the basis upon which our children will be judged and labelled as
mentally healthy or not.
Examples of "Incorrect concepts" in the Indiana plan:
Concerns with Indiana's Mental Health Plan
for the details of each of these.)
- Mental illness rates of children are high.
(Even the experts admit that the diagnostic
criteria are very subjective. Who knows the real numbers?)
- Screening instruments are accurate at pinpointing true mental health
problems. (They are unscientific and
subjective with high rates of false
- Mental health treatments are safe, effective, and well-researched in
children. (They are dangerous and
- Children should be given mental health services even without having a
diagnosis. (This is harmful and expensive.)20
- Social and emotional academic outcomes can be accurately, fairly, and
objectively applied even to young children before
kindergarten. (They are too broad and
- Early childhood programs improve social and emotional
development. (Several studies show emotional
harm from too early or prolonged preschool.)
- Mental health treatment of children is cost effective.
(Data shows huge spikes in expenditures,
especially for medications.)
Do not implement universal mental health screening, especially
for infants and very young children, due to its lack of scientific
validity, violation of privacy and family autonomy, and the stunning lack
of evidence regarding safe and effective treatments. Instead,
government should support family autonomy. Family tax burdens should be
decreased by eliminating wasteful, unscientific and invasive programs.
This will allow parents more time with their children. Government should
promote two parent, stable families which have the greatest success rate
for meeting childrens social and emotional development. Paternal
involvement in welfare payments and other similar measures should not be
What you can do
Attend the 2006 EdWatch
Friday/Saturday, October 13/14th
your copy of the DVD:
The Dangers of Universal Mental Health
- Issues will include the coming child and infant mental health
screening systems and their inclusion into early childhood programs with
Dr. Karen Effrem. Carol White will discuss mental health research in
minority communities. Twila Brase will discuss how genetic testing is
linking to education data systems.
Register and Information
here or call 952-361-4931.
Get your copy of:
The Dangers of Mental Health
Screening, Briefing Book
3.) Spread this
information widely to friends and elected officials.
4.) Sign the national petition to
Stop TeenScreen's Unscientific and Experimental "Mental Health
Screening" of American School Children:
http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html. Over 11,600
people have signed the petition to date.
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318 - 952-361-4931
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