Mandatory Mental Health Screening for Kids
Back in Made by President Bush advocated expanding and improving mental health programs in schools early problems or people who may turn disruptive or violent. One way was highlighted by the commission of early identification, the Columbia University TeenScreen program that enables students with parental consent to receive a mental health checkup via a computer-based questionnaire before graduating from high school. The 86-page report of the commission included this proposal among a lengthy list of recommendations to enhance the mental health system. Little attention was attracted by the report beyond mental health circles. But over the past two years Cottage industry of resistance has grown up round the proposal to expand mental health programs and has become a rallying cry for conservatives who see it as government intervention in family life.
Opponents of mental health Programs point to parents who say their children have been misdiagnosed with issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and forced to take drugs under pressure from school officials. To the commission, these parents Suggestion to enhance and expand school mental health programs is first, inexorable step toward compulsory school mental health screening for all pupils, and compulsory medication for many, despite repeated assurances by commission members, school officials and congressional experts this will not happen.
The groups are Pushing Congress to pass laws, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., and supported by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to prohibit any federal funding for mental health screening of students without the written consent of the parents. If is Passed, it is going to prevent wasteful and potentially catastrophic federal funding whilst shielding the informed consent rights of parents in what is a most serious issue their children’s health and security, stated Patricia Weathers, president and co-founder. The educators and medical Professionals on the opposite side of this argument agree consent should be required for screenings. But they think that it is worth studying the concept of encouraging screenings to get help for children who need it.
There’s this curious Coalition of people that are worried about stuff that we did not recommend, and are making a big noise about it, said Michael Hogan, director of the Ohio Mental Health Department and chairman of what was then known as the New Freedom Commission. The core thing which the Commission was worried about is how a whole lot of these mental health problems are pretty clearly issues of childhood and adolescent onset. Added to this is the fact that most kids never get to see a mental health professional. The basic logic of what the commission said is that we should take action to ease access to care where kids are.