Friday, May 05, 2006
HOT OFF THE SHOW! Minnesota Secretly Screens Preschoolers for Mental Health
Dr. Karen Effrem joined me on the show to talk about the universal mental health screening that is being pushed across the nation. She has spoken before legislatures and done much writing on the subject. It was an excellent show today in terms of the information she shared, such as:
Universal preschool mental health screening is not based on objective medical tests, as advocates would have us believe. It assesses ìbehaviorsî and leads to inaccurate and dangerous labeling of children for normal childhood behaviors. It increases already excessively high over-diagnosis and over-medication of children, especially of boys and minorities.
In the meantime, EdWatch has discovered that, in spite of the unexpected defeat of mental health screening last year, the Minnesota Department of Education has forged ahead with mental health screening for preschoolers anyway. In the absence of the failed law that would have authorized preschool screening for socioemotional [mental health] development, the Department references an obsolete administrative rule as its legal authority. That rule is obsolete, because the statute authorizing it was repealed in 1989.
Relying on an obsolete state administrative rule, both the Departments of Health and Education have begun implementing universal preschool mental health screening, in spite of its legislative defeat last year.
They have an ACTION ITEM:
Call Minnesota's Governor (651) 296-3391 and Commissioner Seagren (651) 582-8204. Tell them:
~Immediately stop the illegal and costly mental health screening of preschoolers;
~Hold those implementing it responsible;
~Urgently resolve this serious violation of the public trust.
Hear the show (See 5/05/06)