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Bush proposes MANDATORY Mental-health screening of children
I kid you not, it's already going into LAW

President Bush Proposes Screening the U.S. Population for Mental Illness
In an innocent looking attempt to help the poor, whose childrens' problems with ADD and such often go undiagnosed, Bush finds a boondago for his corporate donnors such as Eli Lilly (Prozac)

He proceeds to make it into law, despite misgivings by his own FDA that prescribing anti-depressants for kids may INDUCE suicide FDA panel seeks strong warning on antidepressants for minors- September 15, 2004

Despite attempts by Ron Paul and other Senators, opposers were unable to stop the bill
WorldNetDaily: Attempt to dump mental screening fails
The Paul amendment [AGAINST SCREENING] failed by recorded vote of 95 to 315.  Final Vote Results for Roll Call 438

More below the fold

"New Freedom" to be called a nutcase

Update [2004-12-8 12:11:34 by lawnorder]: LITERALLY - Army Torture Whistleblower declared delusional

His commander tried to have Ford declared delusional due to combat stress to cover up the allegations of prisoner abuse.

Bush's Brave New World
Forum: Bush's Brave New World

President Bush's little-publicized New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has proposed comprehensive mental-illness screening for all Americans. If this proposal is carried out, no adult or child will be safe from intrusive probing by 'experts,' backed by drug companies, who believe mental illness is woefully underdiagnosed and many millions of people should be taking powerful and expensive psychiatric drugs. Schools and doctors' offices will become quasi-psychiatric monitoring stations.

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, tried to stop the federal funding of mental-health screening, but the House turned down his amendment to the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Paul, a physician, said the program usurps parental rights, noting parents can already be charged with child abuse for refusing to give their children Ritalin for alleged attention deficit hyperactivity disorder He said, 'Psychotropic drugs are increasingly prescribed for children who show nothing more than children's typical rambunctious behavior. Many children have suffered harmful effects from these drugs.

More..
Recent news
Mental-health screening of children
"Doctors Group Opposes Mandatory Mental Health Tests for Kids  Nov. 11
"Foster Kids on Mind-Altering Drugs?"  Nov. 11
"Mandatory Mental Health Screening Threatens Privacy, Parental Rights  Sept. 17

Where it started
Bush To Impose Psychiatric Drug Regime

Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness

According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major "mental health" initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other states.

The Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) will serve, according to the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, as a model for the upcoming initiative. The TMAP medication guidelines were established in 1995 as an "expert consensus" based on the opinions of prescribers, rather than an analysis of scientific studies. The pharmaceutical companies who funded the scheme include Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest Laboratories. The drugs recommended as "first line treatment", many of them with potentially deadly side effects, are patented expensive drugs produced by the sponsors of the guidelines: Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroqual, Geodone, Depakote, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, Effexor, Buspar, Adderall and Prozac.

TMAP was extended to cover children, again by "expert consensus", and no doubt the Bush program for widespread testing in schools all over the US will find hundreds of thousands if not millions of new "customers" for the dangerous psychiatric drugs the scheme promotes. A recent article in the New York Times about "the use of juvenile detention facilities to warehouse children with mental disorders" might give us an idea of how many future patients are already waiting in the sidelines. But more importantly it shows that the problem that fits the TMAP solution is now being promoted by the media - go figure.

A similar "patient recruitment" move for psychiatry is the re-definition of environmental illness - a debilitating condition with varying symptoms due to environmental causes such as chemical poisons and electromagnetic pollution - as a purely psychological phenomenon. "It's all in your head, stupid!" seems to be the rationale.

Update [2004-12-8 12:7:45 by lawnorder]: Mandatory mental screening still on, no parental consent needed

Originally posted to lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:33 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bush's panels decide what constitutes insanity ? (4.00)
    The problem with the plan isn't that kids are going to be over-medicated and make Astra Zeneca rich.  That's retarded.

    The problem is that Bush's panels decide what constitutes insanity, and not the DSM IVR.
    Doctor's groups are getting upset with the plan over its marked absence of medical input or reference.  

    As my wonderful friend Vera, who grew up in Bulgaria, puts it, "This is how they got the kids to turn in their parents.  You played with the State, or you were labelled a nutty kid."

    by Ptolemy
    http://lawnorder.dailykos.com/comments/2004/11/13/12446/980/58#58

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:59:29 AM PST

  •  Seriously Scary (none)
    I can imagine dissent being classified as a type of mental illness... "The patient exhibited an irrational hatred of our beloved leader but responded well to shock therapy and massive doses of Prozac."
    •  That's exactly what I suspected (none)
      This is fucking bullshit. This will cause the next revolution.

      What God blesses a nation that slaps His name on the root of all evil?

      by newsouth on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:25:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Environmental Illness already are! (none)
      Gulf War syndrome Victims and victims of other kinds of illness due to side effects to chemical exposure are ALREADY being told "It's all in your head".

      This gives them unlimited power to crush non-conformants.

      Sieg Heil!

      We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

      by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:44:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't there a problem with schools forcing meds? (4.00)
    Here's a story about it:  Public school administrators, long the enthusiastic adherents of a "Just Say No!" policy on drug use, appear to have a new motto for the parents of certain tiny soldiers in the war on drugs: "Medicate or Else!" It is a new and troubling twist in the psychiatric drugs saga, in which public schools have begun to issue ultimatums to parents of hard-to-handle kids, saying they will not allow students to attend conventional classes unless they are medicated. In the most extreme cases, parents unwilling to give their kids drugs are being reported by their schools to local offices of Child Protective Services, the implication being that by withholding drugs, the parents are guilty of neglect.
    There was a Bill, the Child Medication Safety Act, that tried to stop this practice, it passed the House but got stifled in the Senate.  Here's a slightly promedication but well done history of that bill: Link ".
    Now it looks like I'm going to have my kids subject to mandatory psych testing, and I will go to jail for child abuse if I refuse to buy the Meds that the "test" say my kids need.  Lovely, just F***G lovely.

    Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

    by Myrkury on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:02:38 AM PST

    •  homeschool (none)
      Pull your children out of the public school system and homeschool them!

      They make the weather then they stand out in the rain and say `SHIT, it's rainin!' Renee Zelweger, Cold Mountain.

      by TXsharon on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:55:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be child abuse (none)
        Nobody deserves a lawyer for their kindergarten teacher. </snark>  I'm just all about doing the PTA and the HSA thing at my kid's public school.  I will not turn over my kids OR an institution that I paid for with my tax dollars to pharmaceutical companies or quick-buck-MLM-marketed-"intelligent design"-BS-"texbook" publishers.  If I, and other parents who feel like I do put 1/10th the time and effort required for home schooling in to protecting and pomoting our public schools- we can really take them back and put them to work for our kids.
        Or maybe I keep whistling past the graveyard thinking that because I live in the Bluest City in America, Philly, I'll be able to live "normally" until the last possible moment and that folks in places like Albany and Pheonix will be effected first like coal mine canaries and I'll have enough warning to take drastic measures.
        Oh yeah, it has already happened in Albany and Pheonix.
        One last thing, even home schooled children are required to take the standardized tests.  Make the psych eval part of the standardized test battery (or just hide it in the standardized tests- they probably already have studies attempting to link test answer patterns to behavioral or personality traits) and even home school kids will be sucked in to the system.
        Imagine this- Getting your PSAT score and a prescription for adderal in the same envelope.

        Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

        by Myrkury on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:25:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  BTDT (none)
          If I, and other parents who feel like I do put 1/10th the time and effort required for home schooling in to protecting and pomoting our public schools- we can really take them back and put them to work for our kids.

          I dedicated 2 years of my life to this here in TX.  I was a whistleblower and no one would represent me because there is a cap on the amount you can sue the gov.  I have have cold hard evidence.  TEA is a good old boy system.

          even home schooled children are required to take the standardized tests.

          Not in every state!

          I would rather fight outside the system and make sure my children don't get indoctrinated.

          They make the weather then they stand out in the rain and say `SHIT, it's rainin!' Renee Zelweger, Cold Mountain.

          by TXsharon on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:26:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You did the right thing (none)
            I read your post below- sounds like you had little of value in your public school to begin with.  Nobody should martyr their kids.  And thank's for the tip about texas not requiring home schooled kids to take standardized tests- I'm looking in to how that was accomplished- maybe do the same in PA.
            I also apologize, on behalf of my profession, that no lawyer would take your case- either pro bono or at a reduced fee.  The Texas Bar should be ashamed of itself.  Though I'm not scolding the Kossack lawyers (who I suspect do more than their fair share) nor was I meaning to scold you about home schooling- more myself and my community for having let things go so far in Philly that it is even worth considering here.

            Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

            by Myrkury on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 10:22:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tort reform (none)
              I also apologize, on behalf of my profession

              I don't blame the attorneys at all.  When the cap is $250,000 and you are suing a state institution, it won't cover the expenses. Several lawyers told me that I had a good case but it would cost them more than they would make.  People have to make a living.  And, that's exactly why they put the cap on in the first place.  

              This is what will happen if chimpy caps the medical malpractice suits.  We will have no recourse if we are maimed by our doctors.

              You can homeschool your children and teach them twice as much in 1/2 the time.  When my son gets a little older, I will hire grad students to work with him a couple of hours a week until he can take the SAT and enroll in college.

              They make the weather then they stand out in the rain and say `SHIT, it's rainin!' Renee Zelweger, Cold Mountain.

              by TXsharon on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 06:30:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the (rare) sympathy for the Bar (none)
                Yeah, tort reform is just a way of stripping people of their rights.  BTW-(if you aren't already all over this) see if you can figure out how to use work-study graduate students for tutoring.  Uncle Sam picks up 90% of the cost, up to $15.00 an hour- so you would only be paying $1.50/hr out of pocket.
                But, IMHO, its a shonda that you couldn't get pro bono representation.  Not necessarily by an education law specialist- but a lawyer is a lawyer and that licence to print money comes in exchange for a comittment to do pro bono work.  I'm very seriously considering writing a note to the TX Bar asking why the h*** they don't have a wait list of atty's eager to vindicate the rights of families that are pushed aside by the public schools.

                Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

                by Myrkury on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:22:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting.... (4.00)
    The original author of the posted article was a bit careless.  While all of the medications listed (and some others) are prescribed, mostly for ADD and/or depression--not all of them have serious side-effects. For example, stimulant medications (adderall, dexedrine, ritalin) have an excellent safety record when properly used for ADD. It is also true that some children with ADD either cannot tolerate or do not respond to stimulant medication.

    There is also a computerized test, much like a video game, that can inexpensively confirm ADD for the doubtful.  (I've taken it.  Despite a Mensa-level IQ, I cannot pass that test!) No-one fails that test unless they have ADD.

    I'm an adult with late-diagnosed ADHD.  Medication isn't perfect, but it sure did wonders for my personal budget, as my impulse-spending dropped by over a hundred bucks a month!

    I also finally became able to get and keep a job.

    I know others people with much more severe ADD than mine--the catch-22 is that they can't get/keep a job, so can't get health insurance, so can't get/afford meds, so can't get/keep a job.

    This legislation may not be all bad.  However:
    1)The screening should be free for everyone.
    2)A second opinion, by a provider of the patient's choice, should also be free of charge and mandatory.
    3)Medication should be provided at no cost to anyone without insurance.

    These last three caveats should go a long way to prevent abuses.  

    Please note, I am not suggesting that medication alone is necessarily appropriate.  Most people with depression can also benefit from therapy.  Most people with ADD need coaching in organization and interpersonal skills.  

    In both cases, however, the intervention stands a better chance of being effective if the medication is also in use. The depressed person needs to believe that change is possible; the ADDer needs to be able to attend to the coaching!

    •  Great post (none)
      I agree, does anyone really think that the overdiagnosis of mental illness is a bigger problem than underdiagnosis?

      I don't like that the drug companies are funding it, but I think mental health screening will end up saving money and lives.

      •  Privacy Issue (none)
        I think it should be optional, not forced on people. And the cynic in me DOES think this has a lot to do with their buddies at the drug companies. We're going to end up with a nation of drugged kids, a nice portion of which probably don't even need to be on any drugs.

        They do this but refuse to consider national health care? Hmm.

        •  making it optional (none)
          The trouble is the people who need the help the most  (i.e. the seriously mentally ill), are the ones least likely to make a rational choice.  As long as its not too intrusive, and the government provides care for those who can't afford it otherwise, I think mandatory screenings are fine.
          •  Do you want BUSH to decide who is insane ? (none)
            Kind of letting the Fox take care of the hen house, don't you think ?

            I fear that no matter how well intentioned their proposition seems they will abuse and distort the law. They did that on Patriot Act and everything else!

            A country full of fundies and comfortably numb workerbees!

            We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

            by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:41:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The problem (none)
            There are a lot of very decent folks who regard any mandatory medical screening as WAY to intrusive.  Even with the requirement for TB screening, which I wholeheartedly support as a requisite for attending public school, I would flip out if I was not given the choice of having the testing done by the doctor of my choice.
            Mental health is an even more touchy issue for a lot of people, either because they don't accept the premise of modern psychology, or (like me) they beleive in the power of psychiatric treatment but are very cautious about the devastating impact of psychological malpractice.  Remember- there are plenty of licenced therapists out there who will prescribe electroshock for homosexual urges and other "deviancies".
            If my kid is disruptive it is fine for the school to tell me to resolve the issue- but not to provide a diagnosis or an Rx.
            If a plan emerges which will voucher the whole program on a fee for service basis that pays for any accredited treatment- I might support mandatory use of the vouchers for screenings with a providor of the parent or individual's choice.

            Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

            by Myrkury on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:39:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Mandatory testing is BAD (none)
      I'm all for free screening and free meds.

      I'm radically against the government telling me what to do with my kids.

      We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

      by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:21:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Root cause of ADD/ADHD (none)
      My son, who also has a Mensa IQ, was diagnosed at 5 with ADHD.  It was recommended by the "experts" that I get him remediated immediately by applying ritilan.

      I researched endlessly and watched carefully.  The ADHD didn't seem to fit.

      A long story short:  My son didn't and doesn't have ADHD.  He has sensory integration problems and, although at 10 he reads at the college level, he is visiomotor dyslexic.  He was homeschooled until last year, which I believe is the only reason he learned to read.

      There are MANY reasons a person can exhibit ADHD symptoms.  ADHD/ADD is a catch all diagnosis.

      Bottom line:  Had I taken the "experts" advice and immediately medicated my 5 year old, it is highly likely that the true causes of his symptoms would have never been discovered.  It took years of dedicated research by me and lots of money spent to discover the real reason.

      They make the weather then they stand out in the rain and say `SHIT, it's rainin!' Renee Zelweger, Cold Mountain.

      by TXsharon on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:08:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Three cheers for you! (none)
        Your child is very lucky to have you on their side.  Having personal experience with a late diagnosis of dyslexia I can assure you that your efforts for your son are very worthwhile and I expect great things from both of you in the future!

        Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

        by Myrkury on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:46:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Curious (none)
        I wonder if, as part of the ADHD diagnosis, you tried medication for your son and, if so, what happened.  I ask because oftentimes a trial of meds is used diagnostically.  Children who don't have real attention problems, or who have attention problems related to a different underlying issue (i.e., visual-motor integration) will respond negatively or not at all to the meds.  I would think any parent could tell and could then maintain or discontinue the meds as necessary.  Sometimes doctors and even parents are willing to tolerate unacceptable side effects (e.g., zombie-ism, increased hyperactivity, sleep loss).  I have trouble understanding why anyone would keep their child on a drug that made them feel worse.  (I also have some trouble understanding why parents would refuse to give their child meds that improved their quality of life, although I understand the fears around meds.)

        I got to a point with my own son when he was 9 years old where I did just such a trial.  The meds made him worse, which tells me his attention problems are not due to ADHD.  So the search continues, while he and his teachers are made aware (by me, as the mom) of the issue and provided with ideas about how to sensitively, responsibly and effectively manage it.  Some kids are bouncier than others, and sometimes maturation allows them to attend for longer periods.  Fortunately my son attends a school with appropriate developmental expectations and an understanding that each kid runs on a slightly different bio clock.  This allows for sensible movement breaks and reasonable expectations to focus for some periods of time throughout the day.

        I guess every state does things differently.  I am a school psychologist in California and have so far only diagnosed frank ADHD in one child.  However, mentioning medication is a major taboo in the districts I've been in.  The approach is to mention the observed attention problems, which are documented across at least two settings (usually home and school).  With the parents' own ratings (along with the teachers'), you talk with the parent and help them brainstorm solutions.  If they bring up medication, I tell them what I know, pro and con.  If they ask for my opinion, I give it as generally as possible.  I DON'T VOLUNTEER MY OPINION THAT ANYONE'S KID SHOULD BE ON DRUGS, although in this one case I really thought it would help the child, who was plainly miserable at school (despite a sensitive, accommodating teacher), and who was in constant trouble at home. I did refer the family for further neurological evaluation, which would rule out a host of processing differences.  It took a year for them to agree, during which time the kid was wild-eyed and alienated from himself and others.  It was difficult to see how uncomfortable he was for the majority of the school day.

        My goal is always to advocate for the child within the schools.  Sometimes I recommend changing classrooms, sometimes I design a behavior program which builds in escape time for kids who find certain subjects or activities really aversive.  I respect kids and their preferences and although it is sometimes an uphill battle with certain teachers or administrators, I go to bat to the best of my ability.  

        I also sometimes need to educate parents and advocate for kids on that front.  Good parents sometimes lash out at schools as lumbering or over-reactive, and quick to recommend draconian remedies in order to make the teachers' lives easier.  Maybe that happens, but not in my experience.  Some good parents who bash the schools fail to realize that there are many bad parents out there, which is rarely intentional but often due to ignorance.  I've seen children damaged by neglect (e.g., a 5 year old boy getting all his nutrients by drinking goat milk from a bottle because the family is "too busy to prepare food for him) and sometimes by whack-o expectations (e.g., my 3 year old daughter WILL write sentences, and she will not get up from the table until she does it to my satisfaction).  And there are bad parents who just don't give a shit, who demonize their kids as "bad" or "out of control" because there is no parenting occurring and the kids are acting out.  Incidentally, those are often the parents who want schools to recommend meds -- if there's a problem, there's got to be a pill for it.  And some government agency to pay for it.

        This is not to say there aren't poor teachers or educational practices that can better explain a child's behaviors.  My son's home district uses a child-hostile curriculum, in my opinion, which is why we send him to private school.  (Home schooling doesn't make sense for us, based on our own parent-child dynamic.  He needs me to be a mom but not a teacher, although he does allow me to help with homework and prepare him for extracurricular things like the ISEE. Other kids are more amenable to a dual-role parent.)  

        Kids act up when they are asked to do unpleasant, unnecessary things (e.g., Open Court for hours a day), and sometimes teachers and parents both want to "fix" the kid to tolerate a pretty intolerable situation.  I see part of my role as educating all constituencies about what constitutes a positive school environment and what elements make it likely kids will react negatively.

        I guess my personal belief is that no one is going to care as much or be as sensitive to my kid's needs as me, and I feel it's ultimately my responsibility -- not the school's, not the doctor's -- to gain an understanding of what goes on with him.  Parents who go to a doctor, take the doctor's advice (even when it's clearly making things worse), and then blame the doctor don't have a lot of credibility with me. The doctor doesn't live with or really know my kid -- that's my job.  Same with those who blame the schools without really informing themselves about all the alternatives.  Medical treatment and schools are set up based on gross statistical findings.  Maybe my kid is Perfectly Typical in All Ways, but chances are he's not.  As his mom, I look for what is working and build on that to address what's not working.

        Wow, this turned into a screed.  Sorry!  This -- getting kids comfortable in school -- is a passionate issue for me.

  •  Hope they start the screening at the top (4.00)
    It'd be easier than a recount.

    Tikkun Olam: Heal the world.

    by diamondpen on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:45:21 AM PST

  •  Adults to be tested also (none)
    I read the text of this a couple of weeks ago. It also includes mandatory testing of anyone admitted to a hospital for any reason.

    Wonder if they're testing Cheney's MH even as we speak.  Sure like to see that report!

    http://lawnorder.dailykos.com/comments/2004/11/13/351/19262/205#205

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:23:12 PM PST

  •  Right to privacy issues (none)
    THIS violates some serious right to privacy issues.

    This is about on the same level as mandatory sterlizations of persons with handicaps. YOU CANNOT force someone to have a psych exam unless they are a danger to themselves or others.

    What is the main goal here? To get a "diagnosis" for as many as possible so that more people will take prescription drugs?  What a convienent way to get medicaid to pay the big drug corps big money to keep all the children in poverty on drugs (ritalin).
    Interesting. Let's just throw our Constitution out the window to line the pockets of drug big corps/legal drug dealers.
    http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/index.php?showtopic=3806&st=120&p=33705&#

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 12:58:13 PM PST

  •  Bush's Brave New MENTAL World (none)
    Forum: Bush's Brave New World

    President Bush's little-publicized New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has proposed comprehensive mental-illness screening for all Americans. If this proposal is carried out, no adult or child will be safe from intrusive probing by "experts," backed by drug companies, who believe mental illness is woefully underdiagnosed and many millions of people should be taking powerful and expensive psychiatric drugs. Schools and doctors' offices will become quasi-psychiatric monitoring stations.
        Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, tried to stop the federal funding of mental-health screening, but the House turned down his amendment to the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Paul, a physician, said the program usurps parental rights, noting parents can already be charged with child abuse for refusing to give their children Ritalin for alleged attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He said, "Psychotropic drugs are increasingly prescribed for children who show nothing more than children's typical rambunctious behavior. Many children have suffered harmful effects from these drugs."
        Dr. Karen Effrem also opposes the plan: "Universal mental-health screening and the drugging of children, as recommended by the New Freedom Commission, needs to be stopped so that many thousands if not millions of children will be saved from receiving stigmatizing diagnoses that would follow them for the rest of their lives. America's schoolchildren should not be medicated by expensive, ineffective and dangerous medications based on vague and dubious diagnoses."
        Unlike medical diagnoses that are ultimately based on objective biological evidence, psychiatric diagnoses are based on what people say and do. Such diagnoses are moral and political, not medical judgments. Brain science is still in its infancy: Why is one kind of behavior interpreted as a sign of mental or brain disease but not another kind? Besides, behavior has reasons, not causes. That principle is at the very core of what we mean by personhood. (Brain-scan technology cannot refute this principle because it does not identify causes of behavior. Correlation is not causation.)
        The New Freedom Commission recommendation that everyone be screened for mental illness whenever he goes to the doctor and that children be monitored for mental illness in government schools is a plan to stigmatize people for "inappropriate" behavior and speech. It is also a plan for the widespread drugging of adults and children under government supervision. There is also reason to fear the improper influence of drug companies.
        Allen Jones, formerly of the Pennsylvania Inspector General's Office, revealed a similar program was started in his state after drug companies curried favor with state officials. The British Medical Journal reported: "In July 2002, Mr. Jones . . . uncovered evidence of payments into an off-the-books account. The account, earmarked for 'educational grants' was funded in large part by Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Payments were made from the account to state employees who developed formulary guidelines recommending expensive new drugs over older, cheaper drugs with proved track records. One of the recommended drugs was Janssen's Risperdal -- a drug that has recently been found to have potentially lethal side effects."

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:14:28 PM PST

  •  New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (none)

    Get copies and read this before it is enacted.

    Ordering Information:

    To order printed copies of this publication online, visit http://store.mentalhealth.org/publications/ordering.aspx
    Order Item Number SMA 03-3832

    or contact SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center:
    1-800-789-2647 Voice or
    1-888-889-2647 TDD
    1-301-984-8796 FAX

    The report can be viewed in html format at
    http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/reports/FinalReport/toc.html

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:19:40 PM PST

  •  Where does it say required? (none)
    I went clear back to the .gov couldn't find it. However if it is required thats insane. Even military personnel have the right to refuse medical treatment.
    •  Here (none)
      Mr. Hogan's support of voluntary programs and parental consent rings hollow, as well. The phrase "parental consent" appears once and the word "voluntary" appears not at all in the NFC report.

      But if he truly is in favor of voluntary parental consent, then he should soundly endorse Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul's bill, the Let Parents Raise their Kid's Act, HR 5236.

      Which was defeated in congress by GOPpies..

      http://www.edwatch.org/updates/111004.htm

      We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

      by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You mean? (none)
        "Mr. Hogan is right that the commission never calls for mandatory treatment. However, neither he nor the report acknowledge or condemn the numerous instances of coercion across the nation."

        In other words manditory speaks to worries not facts.

        While I am NOT trying to defend this act I do not consider it wise to mix spin and framing into serious information.

        •  A threat: It could be mandatory (none)
          It was in Texas and Pensylvannia

          And if it won't, why didn't they let Ron Paul's ammendment pass ?

          I'm NOT the only one fixing on the mandatory aspect of it. Even NEWSMAX calls it mandatory.

          Doctors Group Opposes Mandatory Mental Health Tests for Kids
          Under new law being considered, the federal government would require that every child in America undergo psychological screening and receive recommended treatment, including drug therapies.

          Next week the Senate re-convenes to consider an omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for grants to implement mandatory universal mental health screening for almost 60 million children, pregnant women, and adults through schools and pre-schools.

          But officials of the respected Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) decry what they see as "a dangerous scheme that will heap even more coercive pressure on parents to medicate children with potentially dangerous side effects."

          One of the most "dangerous side effects" from anti-depressants commonly prescribed to children is suicide, regarding which AAPS added, "Further, even the government's own task force has concluded that mental health screening does little to prevent suicide."

          The bill would fund initiatives of the "New Freedom Commission on Mental Health," including a program designed to subject every school age child in the country to psychological testing and recommendations for treatment. The House has already voted to appropriate $20 million for the plan, and the Senate will be considering whether to bump it up to $44 million.

          We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

          by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:20:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Get your greasy paws out of my kid's head! (none)
    EdWatch: Current Info on Mental Health Screening

    The [increase in kids suicides] combined with lack of effectiveness caused the Food and Drug Administration to finally require this month its strongest drug warnings.. nowhere does [the study which inspired the law] mention any of these other problems... The report also fails to mention the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force study showing that screening is useless in preventing suicide.

    incidents where parents have been threatened and charged with child abuse for refusing medication have inspired more than 20 state legislatures and the Congress to introduce or pass measures to prohibit coercion

    Mr. Hogan's support of voluntary programs and parental consent rings hollow, as well. The phrase "parental consent" appears once and the word "voluntary" appears not at all in the NFC report. But if he truly is in favor of voluntary parental consent, then he should soundly endorse Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul's bill, the Let Parents Raise their Kid's Act, HR 5236.

    Given the very real problems of already existing coercion, subjective criteria, dangerous and ineffective medication, and the failure of screening to prevent suicide, none of which are covered in the NFC report, Congress would be wise to withhold the $44 million requested for state grants to implement the NFC recommendations.

    Whatever good may come from the other recommendations is completely overshadowed by the loss of freedom and damage that would come from labeling and drugging potentially millions of children based on these unsupportable screening and treatment programs

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:40:01 AM PST

  •  Seek the causes, DON'T just medicate (none)
    From Common Ground Common Sense

    Leave no Child Unmedicated ?

    I am a school counselor. Counseling programs at the elementary level are being cut systematically as budget crunches force schools to offer fewer resources for the emotional health of children.

    I am disturbed that the report does not contain even one reference to school counselors, school psychologists, or school social workers.

    The trend has been, as staff is cut, to out-source these services to community agencies, thus guaranteeing even less effective helping methods. Community agencies, low on personnel themselves, can usually only provide counseling on a monthly basis (as opposed to weekly or more by school counselors), are slow to respond in crisis situations (mere minutes can make a world of difference), and seldom provide teachers with effective strategies for working with the children and their parents (protect one's turf, keep everything confidential, not just the "need to know" stuff).

    Estimates vary on how many children have ADHD--- from 5 to 10% is the often stated population. For certain, any school with more than 10% of its children on meds for ADHD, are falling prey to the over medicating syndrome and are failing to seek alternative methods for helping children with behavior problems.

    I could go on and on. Conservatives often accuse school counselors as only being concerned with raising self-esteem and teaching children to do what "feels good." A bunch of baloney.

    The recommendations in this report do not seem to seek the causes of emotional distress in children. It does not offer schools the resources with which to help children. It is not pro-active. It seeks only to "identify" and then "medicate." Dangerous objectives

    It's just like "Leave No Child Behind." Identify through testing, punish through denial of funds, offer no additional resources


    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:48:34 AM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    what about mental health problems that aren't necessarily treated with medication, like eating disorders?  are americans suddenly too lazy to engage in non-medicinal treatment?  how nice of the pharmaceutical companies to ignore the fact that drug therapy, even for add and adhd is not completely effective without behavior modification and other therapies that focus on increasing concentration.

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