Leader readers express outrage with mental
health screening plan for expectant mothers and children 18 yrs and
|Toddlers throughout Illinois will be
screened for potential mental health problems in the new
Children's Mental Health Act of
of a mental health screening plan for all children in Illinois
through age 18 and all pregnant women has sparked an unprecedented
number of letters to IllinoisLeader.com.
As a sampling of the outrage Leader readers are expressing, eight
letters have been selected from those pouring in. More will be
featured in the upcoming days.
How in the world can Illinois afford this
massive intrusion into privacy?
I’m stunned to find out that the Illinois Children’s Mental
Health Partnership Preliminary Plan passed unanimously by the State
Senate and with only five dissenting votes in the House. This
massive intrusion mandates pregnant women and children be tested and
evaluated for mental, social and emotional heath concerns, then
determine who is at risk and what drug(s) should be administered.
Who decides the definition of “at risk”; who decides what are
“positive family outcomes” and “meaningful family involvement”; what
if a child fails “age-appropriate social and emotional competency”;
what kind of approach is “comprehensive and culturally sensitive”;
what are “appropriate confidentiality policies” and who determines
what findings are “shared”; how does the government “partner” with
anyone; and who decides in matters of disagreement?
What happened to privacy? And how in the world can Illinois
A law was passed in 1998 that banned all psychological testing of
children. The proposed plan clearly undermines parental authority!
Illinois Leader readers - ask your state senator
and representative why - and then ask them to stop it!
Illinois State Director
Psychiatry -- the only business in America
where the customer is always wrong
Forced screening of the general population for "mental illness,"
and the possibility of forced treatment for those then "diagnosed,"
is a dangerous un-American fraud. When people are troubled, they --
and they alone -- should determine whether to seek help, and if so,
where. We don't need experts to tell us when we are troubled. And
when children have difficulties it is the parents, not the state,
who have primary responsibility for helping to deal with them.
"Mental illness" is a vague term which has now expanded beyond
all limits. Should "experts" so label any of us, or our children,
how do we disprove it? And should they then insist that medication
be given against our will - as some public schools are already doing
with ADHD-labeled children - how do we protect ourselves against
these often-dangerous substances?
Some forty years ago, a psychologist on Long Island urged a group
of educators to have "mental health teams" drop unannounced into
classrooms to find "sick" teachers needing "treatment" because they
were supposedly so harmful to their students. All present were
horrified, and rejected this proposed resurrection of the medieval
Inquisition, with "mental health experts" taking the role of the
Psychiatry has been called the only business in America where the
customer is always wrong. Allowing it forcibly to screen the
American public would benefit only the screeners and the drug
companies, and harm the rest of us - as well as destroying our
democratic traditions of free speech and thought.
Nathaniel S. Lehrman, M.D.
former Clinical Director,
Kingsboro Psychiatric Center
A trolling gimmick for the psychiatric and
I have seen the article, "IL launches compulsory mental health
screening for children and pregnant women," July 19, 2004.
I am first of all very impressed that your news agency has the
brass enough to communicate the truth about what I call "Big Brother
tactics" that is being shoved off on our citizens.
The "mental health" screenings are nothing more than a trolling
gimmick for the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industry. How
audacious and low can you go?
Ask anyone if they want the "State" monitoring them and directing
them to mental health services. I know I have asked a lot of people
and the answers are the same -- heck no.
This reminds me of George Orwell's Big Brother in 1984. We
need to let the government know that we will not stand for
"political treatment" under the guise of these blokes. Pass the
word, Big Brother is coming.
Faith based solution to mental
As a 24-year old woman and resident of Des Plaines, who someday
hopes to raise my children in the Chicago area, I am shocked,
outraged, and disgusted by this new "mental health screening"
I do not believe psychiatry works. I believe its basic theory to
be faulty and its practices in humanitarian. I refuse to let the
state direct me on how to handle my own mind or the mind of my
It is terrifying to think that my own state would try to impose
upon my right to think for myself in the matter of how to live a
mentally healthy life. This is a most personal decision.
I am a religious person and choose to address any mental stress I
may experience through the spiritual; not through drugs and other
harmful psychiatric practices. Others may choose these practices as
it is their right. But imposing upon me that I must follow the cult
of the brain, psychiatric "disorders" which are in truth not based
in science by their own admission, is unconstitutional and wrong.
Psychiatric diagnoses of so called "mental illnesses" are based
on no actual scientific physical test; they are subjective and
psychiatrists admit this. However, who will be screening these
children and women? And with what test?
How will a pregnant woman be able to get a second opinion, and
prove that she is not "mentally ill" in the eyes of psychiatrists
whose clear goal is to rake in more insurance dollars for
prescription drugs? If pregnant women and children do not have the
right to stand up for their own beliefs and make their own decisions
as regards their mental health, then I condemn this practice as
un-American. Psychiatric "dogma" is far from science. And it is
Lack of basic education - not mental
illness - was her son's only problem
I can't believe this is real! This is science fiction, Big
Brother, in real life! How did this ever get this far? This
legislation hits on every citizen in our country.
The rise of our children being put on mind-altering drugs in this
country has already been driven to epidemic proportions. Is this
coincidental with the rising crime rates of our youth? I feel it is
What is the scientific, medical basis for this decision? None,
there is no medical testing that can be done to "screen" for
As a mother of six kids, this hits to my very heart! My one child
was deemed by the public school system to be in need of psychiatric
intervention and drugging due to behavior in school. I was
threatened with being reported to Child Protective Services if I
No academic testing or help was offered, and my request for such
was even turned down. Going to private means, I found my seventh
grade child had a third grade reading level and a fourth grade level
To avoid compulsory mental treatment, we enrolled in an
out-of-state private school where the lack of proper basic education
was remedied. My child is now grown, married, and a contributing
member of society. And for what reason - to support others, who for
some obscure reason have been deemed and labeled unfit to
Whose pocket does this legislation line? This is where the
insanity lays - the "treatment" of our future citizens with labels
and mind-altering drugs for the profit of a few!
Schools have become mental health
I am appalled that Illinois could even consider such lunacy as
compulsory mental health screening.
The psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual contains
hundreds of psychiatric mental “disorders” which are a list of
behavioral symptoms that are literally voted into existence and
inserted into the DSM. Such diagnoses include “Caffeine-Related
Disorder,” “Mathematics Disorder,” “Disorder of Written Expression,”
and the all-encompassing “Phase of Life Problem.” These “disorders”
are simply a classification of symptoms that are drastically
different from, and foreign to, anything in medicine.
Schools have become mental health clinics where children are
diagnosed based on subjective questionnaires, instead of given
proven educational solutions. This fact was substantiated by a
report from the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special
Education, which found that 2.4 million children had been diagnosed
with mental “disorders” and placed in Special Education, when in
fact these children had simply not been taught to read.
The issue of coerced child drugging with psychiatric drugs in
public schools has become so prevalent that the U.S. House of
Representatives passed the Child Medication Safety Act in May 2003,
to prevent schools from forcing a parent to drug their child as a
condition of attending school.
Please encourage others to oppose this ill-conceived big-brother
St. Louis, MO
Mothers, go home to your
Quick, abandon school! Save your children from deep depression;
abuse by peers, teachers, or other authorities; meddling government
departments of "Children's Services"; mental health evaluations;
standardized testing; sex education; and rapper poetry class!
Mothers, go home to your children! Watch them play. Teach them
the good that you know. Love them.
Dads, love your wives. Make them your best friend, and then hang
around with your kids! Quit dropping them off at the mall. Play
games -- all sorts. (Watch Mary Poppins)
Then depression statistics will drop; suicides will drop; teen
pregnancy will drop; welfare will drop; and jobs will be created for
other dads when the moms go home. Children will no longer be roaming
the streets in gangs being bored (I'm not stupid; I know they'll say
they're bored but they always say that!). Taxes will be
dropped right after the national debt is paid! (Yeah, right) And
they'll have to come up with other government programs! (Let your
mind wonder on that!)
Maybe you just "don't have the time." You've got too many other
important things to do. Maybe you think I'm making it sound like an
easy fix -- try it! After the first three years of adjustment you
and your kids will get over the culture shock. Your grown children
might even decide to stay in the area with the grandkids if you act
like you really care about them now!
APA and social engineering
I agree with Edie Fieste's assessment of the issues surrounding
the Child Mental Health Act of 2003--most especially her statement
that "so many lives have already been destroyed by psychiatry and
it’s ever increasing number of 'mental' illnesses." ["Mental
health bill is insane," July 23, 2004] Let us not forget the
far-reaching social damage which has resulted from a previous
attempt by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to limit the
number of mental illnesses.
In 1973, the APA "declassified" homosexuality by deleting it from
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
APA members are more than mere physicians; they are social engineers
Thanks to the APA, gender confusion is no longer confusion--it's
a choice. What a sad choice, indeed. Like the myth of abortion as a
woman's "choice" it is an option that leads only to sadness and
destruction of the individual involved and the rest of society.
So why do well-meaning politicians and educators and
psychiatrists promote such dubious "choices"? I believe the answer
can be found in the current volume of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IVR): "Factitious
Disorder." In this syndrome, patients "tend to take on symptoms of
new and often poorly investigated illnesses" with the "apparent
motive of occupying the sick role."*
I'd like to offer an additional definition for "factitious
disorder" --a life-threatening deficit of the truth. Yes,
Edie, Heaven help us. Because we know the APA, the NEA, and the
*Reference: Morrison, James, MD. (2001) DSM-IV Made Easy: The
Clinician's Guide to Diagnosis. New York: Guilford Press.
launches compulsory mental health screening for children and
pregnant women on Monday, July 19, 2004
Mental Health task force hearings continue through Friday on
Wednesday, July 21, 2004.
health plan forums end, parents concerned about findings on
Friday, July 23, 2004.
What are your thoughts concerning the issues raised in this
commentary? Write a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and include your name and town.