ifeminists.com: A central gathering place and information center for individualist feminists.   -- explore the new feminism --
introduction | interaction | information

ifeminists.com > introduction > editorials

The New Child Abuse: Mandatory Mental Health Screenings
August 11, 2004
by Tony Zizza

As another school year begins, our children have a lot more to fear than the common bullies and peer pressure that is undeniably associated with "being in school."

There are two horrible things going on right now that we all must be aware of. More than the music our children are listening to. More than the movies our children are watching. Even more than the friends our children are talking to.

First, something needs to be done about the state of Illinois coming up with The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003. This insane Act basically forces all children and pregnant women to be screened for mental illness. Only men over the age of eighteen would be exempt.

What's with all this talk about mental health "screenings" anyway? What good comes out of being "screened" for mental illness? Mental health screenings do not prevent suicide. These screenings are just more government intrusion. Both Republicans and Democrats are for them because these screenings are just another extension of the sick idea that the state knows how to run our lives more than we do.

What's also disturbing, Orwellian if you will, about The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 is a little known goal of the Act. It appears the state of Illinois, and I would imagine every state who approves The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003, receives discounts on psychotropic drugs. So don't tell me mental health screenings are good for children and basic wisdom such as exercise more, eat better, sleep more, will be what awaits them. What awaits our children are more drugs and bogus mental disorders.

Second, if you think The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 is a form of new child abuse, perhaps you were not aware of what The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, a commission appointed by President George W. Bush, has in store for us.

After I read their progress report, called the "New Freedom Initiative", I started to think that politicians and pharmaceutical companies must believe there is something noble in the entire U.S. population being labeled with a mental disorder, and subsequently drugged.

The report would be laughable if it wasn't for its bold initiatives and broad support from groups who operate as if there is a mental disorder for every American. In fact, the report doesn't really tell us what a mental illness is, just that they are "shockingly common."

If supporters of The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 and The New Freedom Initiative have their way, it will soon be shockingly uncommon for anyone not to be diagnosed with a mental disorder that of course requires "drugs." Is it a stretch of the imagination to suggest that in the future if any of us ever try to work through emotional problems in a manner safer than drugs - we will be the ones stigmatized as being in denial of our cultural mental illness?

After all, the doublespeak and lies have come full circle. The new child abuse that is being mandated in this country can correctly be called mandatory mental health screenings. The doublespeak is evident in that it's all coined in words of freedom. The Commission on Mental Health appointed by President George W. Bush knew what they were doing when they called their reports and goals - the "new freedom."

I find it painfully ironic that The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003, S.1390, has essentially been cast aside with the announcement of certain states approving mandatory mental health screenings, and a push for national mental health screenings as well.

Furthermore, I wonder if all these mental health screenings and new freedom nonsense is just a smokescreen for our government and pharmaceutical companies to hide behind when real suicides and murders have occured because both children and adults have taken powerful antidepressants and psychotropic drugs.

Again, forget about your children's favorite movies, music or friends for a minute. It's time to look at what our government wants to do to them - and to you as a parent.

There's no good health in The Children's Mental Health Act of 2003. There's no freedom in what The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health wants to do with our children's lives, and our own.

I can't help but wonder, have we gone mad?

Zizza is the Vice President/Georgia of Parents For Label and Drug Free Education. A former Massachusetts resident for over twenty years, he writes frequently about mental health issues. Email comments to him at: tz777@yahoo.com

ifeminists.com > home | introduction | interaction | information | about

ifeminists.com is edited by Wendy McElroy; it is made possible by support from The Independent Institute and members like you.