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952-361-4931 www.edwatch.org - edwatch@lakes.com

November 10, 2006

Lame Duck Congress will vote on
money for Infant Mental Health Testing

The "Lame Duck" Congress convenes Monday, November 13th to finish its work. 
"Lame Duck" is a session that meets after the elections,
but before the newly elected Congress takes over in January.

        The media has stepped up its propaganda promoting "infant mental health" just prior to upcoming votes in the "lame duck" Congress to fund universal psychological testing of babies, preschoolers and K-12 students, including dangerous drugging to treat them. Please re-read last June's EdWatch summary of those funding proposals and recommendations for cuts: " Federal Funding for Universal Mental Health Screening."

        For example, an ABC News article brazenly headlines, " One in 40 Infants Experience Baby Blues, Doctors Say."  Please vote in the on-line poll: Prozac for Depressed Babies? The current tallies are 3, 700 opposed, and 112 in support! Join the opposition!

        The Wall Street Journal joined in with an article on October 24, 2006: "Sending the Baby to a Shrink" (subscription only), and subtitled:  "Expanding Field of Infant Mental Health Aims To Head Off Depression and Other Disorders." It states:
"By starting treatment as soon as possible - even before their patients are out of diapers - doctors feel they are helping kids become better adjusted."
        Dr. Karen Effrem's letter to the editor response to the WSJ article can be viewed here.   Excerpt:
"The 2000 study by Zito that found a 300% increase in the rates of psychotropic drug use of two to four year old children between 1991 and 1995, also showed three thousand prescriptions for the antidepressant Prozac in infants less than one year old.  Four to ten million children are on psychostimlants like Ritalin."
        The election sent a powerful message against this Congress' uncontrolled spending and massive expansion of government. Federal grants for universal mental health screening programs are driving state policy all over the country. State legislatures are snapping up federal dollars for state universal mental health screening programs, frequently leaving elected legislators in the dark about what they are voting for. (See " Indiana Citizens Revolt.")

         We don't know yet what Congress plans for voting when they convene, beginning Monday, November 13th. 

        Federal funding for state mental heath testing programs should be cut.
Federal central planners should not be hooking states on dangerous and invasive mental health policies for students, children and even infants using our tax dollars for bait. Congress should cut or eliminate the following:          Click here for details of these programs. On August 22, 2006, a coalition of national groups signed a Letter to President Bush on mental health screening written by Dr. Effrem that explains the growing opposition to these federal programs.         

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