Mandatory Psychiatric Screening of School-Aged Children



If you have young children or grandchildren, the information I'm going to share should scare you. It should make you angry. But above all it should make you want to stand up and protect them from what I consider a very dangerous threat: mandatory psychiatric screening of each and every school-aged child.

That's right. The plans are in motion to screen every schoolchild for ADHD, depression, social anxiety disorder, and behavior problems. In fact, it's already in effect in Illinois, Texas, and New Jersey.

A Disturbing Trend in Our Schools

In April 2002, President Bush created the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Its objective was to enhance mental health services to those in need. But it has taken a diabolical twist. The commission has concluded that there is a need to search for mental disorders, especially in children, and to do this, they plan mandatory mental health screening for everyone, starting with preschoolers.

According to the Commission's 2003 report, "Quality screening and early intervention should occur in readily accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care facilities and schools."

It is irrational to think that you need to screen 52 million schoolchildren to find those who need help. The ones who really need help are obvious.

But it gets worse. The report goes on to say, "the extent, severity, and far-reaching consequences make it imperative that our Nation adopt a comprehensive, systemic approach to improving the mental health status of children." That means drugging them!

52 Million Potential Customers

The New Freedom Commission's proposed treatment programs are based on the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP). TMAP, which was first used in Texas in 1996 and has since expanded to other states, is a set of very specific medication recommendations, virtually all of them the newest, most expensive, psychotropic drugs available.

It doesn't take a genius to see that this sinister scheme has been masterminded by the pharmaceutical companies, who stand to gain billions of dollars by pushing expensive drugs on our children.

According to Allen Jones, an inspector who worked in the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, many of these companies contribute large sums of money to political parties and to people in key decision-making roles. When he blew the whistle on this, he was promptly sacked.

Trolling for Patients

If you want to see just how biased and ridiculous these screening procedures are, visit some of the drug companies' websites and look at their questionnaires. Whether they are trying to weed out depression, social anxiety disorder, ADHD, or other psychological maladies, the types of questions they ask are equally absurd.

I took one test, entitled the Zung Assessment Tool, at the Prozac website. You respond to 20 phrases with one of the following: not often, sometimes, often, or all the time. Phrases include, "I feel downhearted, blue, and sad." "I have trouble sleeping through the night." "I eat as much as I used to." "I have trouble with constipation." "My mind is as clear as it used to be." "I am more irritable than usual." "I find it easy to make decisions." (As you see, some of these questions are confusing, if not irrational.)

I selected "sometimes" for every phrase, as a normal, healthy person would. My score was 50, and I was advised to show this test to my doctor and "ask him or her to evaluate you for depression."

Folks, sometimes feeling irritable, unable to sleep, etc., are hardly indicative of a serious mental malfunction. Feeling out of sorts from time to time is a normal part of being human. Yet according to this test, I may be a candidate for an antidepressant.

Drugging of Children Is Evil

Widespread psychiatric screening of our children isn't only unnecessary, it's evil.

Children are not miniature adults. Childhood is filled with dreams, vivid imagination, and rollercoaster rides of emotion that we as grownups only vaguely recall. The totality of these experiences is essential in order for children to become fully developed adults.

Psychotropic drugs prevent children from truly experiencing childhood. The drugged child is not real. He doesn't grow into and out of various life stages, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Psychiatric drugs prevent normal development.

The pharmaceutical drug lords, lusting for the billions of dollars that massive psychiatric screening and treatment will add to their coffers, will destroy the essence of your child.

Think back on your childhood. Remember your experiences. Now ask yourself, would you be better off today if five or six years of your childhood had been spent in a drugged-out state?

In my opinion, psychotropic drugs are even worse than some illegal ones. Children are drugged simply because some harebrained test designed by a pharmaceutical company says they should be drugged. Neither the child nor the parent has any say at all in the matter.

What Can You Do?

Here's what you can do about it. First of all, refuse to sign those consent forms when they come home from your child's school - if they can't test them, they can't drug them. Next, take a moment to write your congressional representatives and voice your concerns. You can locate them at //www.congress.org/congressorg/home/. Also, email Laura Bush at first.lady@whitehouse.gov . Ask her how she'd like to have her daughters screened and drugged without her or their consent. We need to get mothers involved.

Finally, don't just say no to drugs. Say no to psychiatric screening.

Julian Whitaker, M.D.

Informant: arkmayebway


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August 2004

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