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06/24/2005 Archived Entry: "ALERT"

This ALERT just received: Say NO to Universal Mental Health Screening Tell your Representative to vote YES for the Paul Amendment! (Click on "more")

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Paul Amendment to the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations bill that prohibits funds from being used to create or implement any universal mental health screening programs. This amendment is very important in protecting children from invasive mental health screening and potential dangerous coercive drugging.

The Truth about Universal Mental Health Screening

Children are being coercively screened and medicated and some children have died as a result. Aliah Gleason, a 13 year old African-American girl, was forced into a state mental hospital, denied contact with her family for 5 months, restrained more than 26 times, and treated with at least 12 different psychiatric medications, some simultaneously, all as a result of a school mental health screening.

The poorest and most vulnerable, as well as minority children, will suffer the most without this amendment. Over 60% of foster children in Texas, nearly two-thirds in Massachusetts, and 55% of foster children in Florida are on as many as 16 different psychiatric drugs, starting as young as age 3. The NAACP, in its legislative document supporting the Child Medication Safety Act, said, "In fact, a recent study in the state of New York showed that 'minority boys' are 11 times more likely to be on mind-altering medicines than is the general student body."

Students will be screened and labeled based on political and religious beliefs. Evidence of this sort of activity is already present in federally funded violence prevention programs and in federally funded "research" that labels social conservatives as mentally ill.

Both the psychiatric diagnostic criteria and the screening instruments themselves are subjective. This has been admitted by such experts as the U.S. Surgeon General; the World Health Organization; the authors of psychiatry's bible of diagnosis, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual; and other psychiatric textbook authors.

Children are already being diagnosed and medicated at alarming rates and at very young ages. More money was spent on psychiatric drugs for children in 2003 than on antibiotics or asthma medication. There was a 300% increase in the psychiatric drugging of two- to four-year-old children between 1991 and 1995. Widespread screening will only increase that problem.

Congress should pass the Paul Amendment to protect children from dangerous labels and subjective diagnoses.

Urge your Representative to vote YES on the Paul amendment!

Call Your Members of Congress Immediately!

Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121

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