Support the Ron Paul Amendment Against Mental Health Screening
A mendment to federal appropriations bill, HR 3010

Karen R. Effrem, MD

Ed Action Committee

June 22, 2005

Congressman and physician Ron Paul is courageously continuing his fight against government sponsored and pharmaceutical industry supported universal mental health screening programs. The Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill, HR 3010, contains $26 million for "state incentive transformation grants" to fund implementation of the New Freedom Commission recommendations for universal mental health screening and psychiatric drug treatment. This is the same amount requested by the President in his budget.

The Paul amendment simply states:
"None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to create or implement any new universal mental health screening program."
This is a very important amendment. It will protect both children and adults from invasive screening that is based on vague, subjective, and politically motivated criteria that will result in labeling with dubious diagnoses. These diagnoses will follow people for the rest of their lives and will result in drugging with ineffective and potentially lethal medications. The HR 3010 amendment supports freedom of thought, as well as civil and parental rights. The bill will be debated Thursday (tomorrow) and Friday, June 23rd or 24th, with the amendment coming up late Thursday or, more likely, Friday.

You may click here to send an email to your Member of Congress to ask him or her to support this vital amendment. Everything is there for you -- a letter and background information. If you wish to follow up your email with a phone call or fax, just click here for the numbers.

The fallout continues from the New Freedom Commission's controversial screening and drugging recommendations. Since last year, when Congressman Paul first introduced this amendment, much has happened that vividly illustrates the folly and danger of these screening and drugging programs, including:

* The FDA held hearings on the use of antidepressants and children. The FDA issued its strongest black box warning after discovering that information on the lack of effectiveness and dangerous side effects of these medications was concealed from physicians and the public, sometimes for years. Yet organized psychiatry is trying to get those warnings removed, because they would rather conceal the dangers to children than give up the profits.

* The story of Aliah Gleason became public. Aliah, a 13 year old African-American girl, was forced into a state mental institution, denied contact with her family for over 5 months, physically restrained over 26 times, and treated with as many as 12 different psychotropic medications (some simultaneously) without her parents knowledge or consent, all as a result of a school mental health screening. (When linking to this story, use code MJZL6Y.)

* Chelsea Rhodes was labeled with two different psychiatric disorders based on a computerized mental health screening called TeenScreen, given in her school without her parents knowledge or consent. Her parent, with the aid of the Rutherford Institute, are suing the school district and the mental health provider that did the screening.

* A preposterous study was released from Harvard and the National Institutes of Mental Health claiming that more than 50% of all Americans will be mentally ill during their lifetime. Even psychiatric experts such as the former chairman of psychiatry at John Hopkins found that idea very difficult to swallow. The debate is raging within the psychiatric profession over the boundaries between mental health and mental illness. "Pretty soon," he said, "we'll have a syndrome for short, fat Irish guys with a Boston accent, and I'll be mentally ill."

There is no public support for these kinds of Orwellian programs. A backlash is brewing. Please let your Member of Congress know that a vote for the Paul amendment is a vote for freedom. A vote for the Paul amendment is a vote against government-corporate-foundation special interests. Let your Member of Congress know that you will be watching closely. Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: EdAction thanks Citizens for Health for their support in the fight against mental health screening and for the use of this action alert to contact Congress on this important issue. The views and programs endorsed by Citizens for Health on their website are not necessarily those of EdAction. If you are not interested in receiving health information from Citizens for Health at this time, please be sure to uncheck the box that offers it that is just beneath the contact information you provide.

Listen to the archived broadcast of a June 20th live radio interview with
Congressman Ron Paul, Dr. Karen Effrem, and Mr. Allen Jones

These three authorities on universal mental health legislation discuss the ethical and scientific problems raised by screening children for mental health. They discuss the New Freedom Commission report of 2003, its influence on current federal legislation, and the role of the pharmaceutical industry in plans to screen the U.S. population for mental health.problems.