Congress and President Bush apparently think that a lot of children have a "mental health" problem. Or that enough of them do to justify taking millions of dollars from taxpayers to fund a universal "mental health screening" for children, and eventually for everyone.
Fortunately, the author of the piece isn't drinking the Kool-Aid and clearly sees the tremendous potential harm from such a program.
Teams of experts are awaiting the infusion of cash. They'll be ensconced in your child's school before you even know it. A bonus is that your little darlings will probably give them quite a bit of information about you also, and then you too can receive therapy you didn't know you needed.
Do you sometimes raise your voice? Ever spank them? Hug them inappropriately? Have politically incorrect attitudes? Use forbidden words? Own a gun? Smoke cigarettes, especially indoors? Read extremist literature? Refuse to recycle? Prepare for a knock on the door...
If an interview with a child raises concerns, the next step might be a home visit. This could discover poor parenting skills, inadequate housekeeping, harmful literature, or a baby who is crying or has a bruise (signs of abuse?)...
Some cautions are in order. Democrats might think that potential future Republicans are crazy. Republicans might think the opposite. Should an extremist Christian be one of the screeners, he might think that nonbelievers are possessed by the devil. And an extremist secular humanist (if such exist) might think that an overly religious child is at risk for mental illness if not already impaired.
In fact, parents ought to be asking some very serious questions before the government experts interview the first child.
And here's what we Reagan Republicans want to hear:
What is the evidence that the program, at best, will be anything other than a waste of millions of dollars? Miraculously, throughout human history most of those crazy children have become stable, productive adults without federally mandated psychiatric treatment. Still more amazingly, their parents have managed also.
Psychiatry in the hands of government, instead of independent physicians who are working for patients, reeks of Orwell's 1984 or the Soviet era. The very need to ask the questions should tell us the right answer for this program: It's crazy.
I hope this isn't really happening. As I said, I haven't found any other corroboration for this story. But I'll post here as a warning anyway.
I would find the linked-to story more plausible is the author had gone to the trouble of providing *any* data. Like a House Bill number. Or a program name. Or something. Without and data, it is hard to take the author seriously.
Hmmm ... the article has a 2004 copyright. If the worry was valid, wouldn't the program have kicked off by now? I don't think you can keep something like that very secret ...
Oddly enough, I didn't notice the copyright date. But for the other reasons above I was somewhat skeptical--and I hope that skepticism came across in my cavaets in the post.
"But for the other reasons above I was somewhat skeptical--and I hope that skepticism came across in my cavaets in the post."
It did :-)
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