Jump to content

Mandatory School Mental Health Screening

Posted

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

i was on the way home from work and heard about this on my local talk radio. it seems there is a new bill in the house that will fund mandatory mental health screenings for all public school children in the nation.

i was instantly curious because i have seen way to many children during my work as a outdoor school camp nurse on ritalin and concerta for the wrong reasons! i was giving out thousands of pills to hundreds of student per week, and felt that the pure volume of it was outstanding, and started asking school nurses and parents if they felt uncomfortable with this trend. everyone expressed the same feelings, and added that it was because schools were diagnosising add or adhd that so many kids were needlessly on these medications, and the trend must stop!

in fact, my own child came home with a letter from the school stating he had adhd, and needed to get a prescription for ritalin right away. i called the school and asked what physician looked at my child without my permission. of course they were stunned and said "oh no doctor, our school counselor diagnosed that!". let's just say they got a ear full. then they actually threatened me that if i did not put my child on ritalin by the next week, that my child could be expelled! lets just say a few calls to the superintendant and the school was warned never to threaten a parent again, especially a nurse that knows more about these mediations and conditions than they do!!!

but i wonder what other people without my background would have done, and frankly that scares me!

here is information i have found on this new bill, and i hope it will get us all thinking about how much power we are giving to government institutions like schools! i still say only an md can make mental health diagnosis, so schools shouldn't even be able to suggest the idea of a diagnosis in such a very seirous field as mental health.

why does it have to be mandatory? why can't the parents say yes or no??? we can tell a doctor yes or no by patient's rights...why not them...a non medical facility!

taken from the website: http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/update11.15.04.htm

action alert: mental-health screening of kids, pt. 3

november 15, 2004

congressman ron paul's letter expressing opposition to mandatory

mental-health screening of children was sent to chairman ralph regula

last friday. twenty-two other house members signed dr. paul's letter.

those additional signatures were added in large part due to your efforts.

thank you!

we must now focus our efforts on house majority leader tom delay.

mr. delay can be extremely helpful to our cause.

the house will likely pass an omnibus spending bill by this saturday. it

must include language prohibiting money from being spent on mandatory

mental-health screening of kids; otherwise, the screening programs already

operating in texas and illinois will be implemented nationwide.

should the government subject your children to mandatory mental-health

screening without your consent? we say "no!"

the pharmaceutical industry says "yes" because it wants millions of new

customers for drugs such as ritalin. the psychiatry/psychology/counseling

establishment says "yes" because they want millions of new patients. these

groups are represented by the most powerful and highest paid lobbyists in

washington and they are working this week to satisfy their clients -- at the

expense of your rights as parents and the well-being of your children.

the association of american physicians and surgeons warned the public

five days ago that universal psychiatric screening and drugging of children

is "a dangerous scheme that will heap even more coercive pressure on

parents to medicate children with potentially dangerous side effects."

congressman ron paul, a physician for over 30 years, abhors the "notion

of federal bureaucrats ordering potentially millions of youngsters to take

psychotropic drugs like ritalin."

we must stop this new federal program before it gets millions of dollars to

spend. as dr. paul cautions, "anyone who understands bureaucracies

knows they assume more and more power incrementally. a few scattered

state programs over time will be replaced by a federal program implemented

in a few select cities. once the limited federal program is accepted, it will be

expanded nationwide."

we have until this saturday at the latest. urge house majority leader tom

delay to help. ask him to make sure the omnibus spending bill or final

committee report on labor/hhs appropriations includes the following

language: "none of the funds made available for state incentive grants for

transformation should be used for any programs of mandatory or universal

mental-health screening that performs mental-health screening on anyone

under 18 years of age without the express, written permission of the parents

or legal guardians of each individual involved."

mr. delay has a copy of the letter that dr. paul and 22 of his colleagues sent

to chairman regula, so he knows about it.

if you wish to respond to this, please go to the site. they have mr. delay's e-mail address if you wish to submit a letter to him expressing your thoughts from your perspective and experience.

it is up to us nurses to get the word out to protect our younger patients from misdiagnosis or wrongful medication therapy...if not, who will???

in fact, my own child came home with a letter from the school stating he had adhd, and needed to get a prescription for ritalin right away. i called the school and asked what physician looked at my child without my permission. of course they were stunned and said "oh no doctor, our school counselor diagnosed that!". let's just say they got a ear full. then they actually threatened me that if i did not put my child on ritalin by the next week, that my child could be expelled!

yes, i went through this a few yr.s back my self, what a crock, turns out my kid was bored! i pulled him out & homeschooled him until he started high school & he went into high school way ahead of the rest of the kids, but he was able to socialize & had fun going to dances/proms & activities & that was my goal there.

this bill is scary, and furthermore i am sure they don't go into who is going to pay for all the necessary new treatment to put these kids on meds, lots of parents do not have health insurance & are limited income..you what i fincd is that a lot of schools don't want to deal with behavior issues & find out the cause of them, much easier to slap a add/adhd label on a kid & get the in compliance with some meds. a lot of parents don't know any better & go with it, it's really sad & takes a lot from the kids that do suffer from this disorder.

i'll be writing & following up on this, thanks for the heads up.

-sara

OMG, I can't believe they are even considering this!! Seems the schools don't even have enought money for the basics!!

And think of all the care plans that would have to be written -- I just can not see this going through.

My daughter needed, per her shrink, a "504" plan at school. Because she is G/T, the school ignores her behavior. It took me all of last school yr to get one written...and the first two months of this yr to get them to dust it off and start using it.

Of course, I can see the pharm co behind this... dang strong lobby.:angryfire

akcarmean, LPN

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

I am a mother of 2 children who really need the medicaton. But they were Dx by a psychiatrist. After several other attempts to correct the problems before they were put on medication. I have also worked in the school system and seen the teachers talk about a child needing medication. Well they really don't if they would look into the child's background and find out the real reason (parents crashed out on couch b/c of drugs or alcohol and letter a 2nd grader get himself up and ready for school) There is more to just putting kids on medication. I can't believe that they would want to pass a bill like this. As a parent, nurse, and someone who has worked in the school district, I have seen it all. Teachers just don't want to deal with the children like t hey use to. (not all teachers) Just put in their time and forget about the true feelings and issues that are effecting the children. Just my 2cents.

Angelia

I taught middle school for a year and half my kids were on meds for ADHD. It's hard for any kid at that age to just sit all day...and of course there was no recess at that school and no physical activity unless they had gym. I know the kids in my classes concentrated better if we did something that required a little physical activity prior to doing actual classwork. Imagine how much better they would have done if they'd had two ten minute walks each day (most schools have a track or a sidewalk; why not use it?) and a 20 minute recess!

Many school counselors just don't seem to be very good at what they are supposed to be doing (out of the many my kids have had, I can say that only 2 were worthwhile). And what are they doing DIAGNOSING kids? All they should do is recommend the kid sees an MD if they think there's a problem.

And mandatory mental health screening? Who is going to interpret those results? Other than the kid filling out a questionnaire, how are they going to be able to afford any kind of one-on-one screening (the only kind that will really tell you anything about potential disorders) to see if there really is a problem?

Having said that, I'd have to say that I would support schools offering a depression screening (one that could be computer scored and self-administered) for middle and high school students, but I wouldn't make it mandatory.

boulergirl, CNA

Has 5 years experience.

Yet ANOTHER reason why any children I have will be HOMESCHOOLED. This burns me up. :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire

Good thing I didn't have mandatory mental health screening in my school days. I probably would have ended up on Paxil. As it is, I made plenty of trips to the psychologist when I was a little kid...don't know why. Can't remember. :confused:

This is a bunch of hoo-ha.

i was on the way home from work and heard about this on my local talk radio. it seems there is a new bill in the house that will fund mandatory mental health screenings for all public school children in the nation.

i was instantly curious because i have seen way to many children during my work as a outdoor school camp nurse on ritalin and concerta for the wrong reasons! i was giving out thousands of pills to hundreds of student per week, and felt that the pure volume of it was outstanding, and started asking school nurses and parents if they felt uncomfortable with this trend. everyone expressed the same feelings, and added that it was because schools were diagnosising add or adhd that so many kids were needlessly on these medications, and the trend must stop!

in fact, my own child came home with a letter from the school stating he had adhd, and needed to get a prescription for ritalin right away. i called the school and asked what physician looked at my child without my permission. of course they were stunned and said "oh no doctor, our school counselor diagnosed that!". let's just say they got a ear full. then they actually threatened me that if i did not put my child on ritalin by the next week, that my child could be expelled! lets just say a few calls to the superintendant and the school was warned never to threaten a parent again, especially a nurse that knows more about these mediations and conditions than they do!!!

but i wonder what other people without my background would have done, and frankly that scares me!

here is information i have found on this new bill, and i hope it will get us all thinking about how much power we are giving to government institutions like schools! i still say only an md can make mental health diagnosis, so schools shouldn't even be able to suggest the idea of a diagnosis in such a very seirous field as mental health.

why does it have to be mandatory? why can't the parents say yes or no??? we can tell a doctor yes or no by patient's rights...why not them...a non medical facility!

taken from the website: http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/update11.15.04.htm

action alert: mental-health screening of kids, pt. 3

november 15, 2004

congressman ron paul's letter expressing opposition to mandatory

mental-health screening of children was sent to chairman ralph regula

last friday. twenty-two other house members signed dr. paul's letter.

those additional signatures were added in large part due to your efforts.

thank you!

we must now focus our efforts on house majority leader tom delay.

mr. delay can be extremely helpful to our cause.

the house will likely pass an omnibus spending bill by this saturday. it

must include language prohibiting money from being spent on mandatory

mental-health screening of kids; otherwise, the screening programs already

operating in texas and illinois will be implemented nationwide.

should the government subject your children to mandatory mental-health

screening without your consent? we say "no!"

the pharmaceutical industry says "yes" because it wants millions of new

customers for drugs such as ritalin. the psychiatry/psychology/counseling

establishment says "yes" because they want millions of new patients. these

groups are represented by the most powerful and highest paid lobbyists in

washington and they are working this week to satisfy their clients -- at the

expense of your rights as parents and the well-being of your children.

the association of american physicians and surgeons warned the public

five days ago that universal psychiatric screening and drugging of children

is "a dangerous scheme that will heap even more coercive pressure on

parents to medicate children with potentially dangerous side effects."

congressman ron paul, a physician for over 30 years, abhors the "notion

of federal bureaucrats ordering potentially millions of youngsters to take

psychotropic drugs like ritalin."

we must stop this new federal program before it gets millions of dollars to

spend. as dr. paul cautions, "anyone who understands bureaucracies

knows they assume more and more power incrementally. a few scattered

state programs over time will be replaced by a federal program implemented

in a few select cities. once the limited federal program is accepted, it will be

expanded nationwide."

we have until this saturday at the latest. urge house majority leader tom

delay to help. ask him to make sure the omnibus spending bill or final

committee report on labor/hhs appropriations includes the following

language: "none of the funds made available for state incentive grants for

transformation should be used for any programs of mandatory or universal

mental-health screening that performs mental-health screening on anyone

under 18 years of age without the express, written permission of the parents

or legal guardians of each individual involved."

mr. delay has a copy of the letter that dr. paul and 22 of his colleagues sent

to chairman regula, so he knows about it.

if you wish to respond to this, please go to the site. they have mr. delay's e-mail address if you wish to submit a letter to him expressing your thoughts from your perspective and experience.

it is up to us nurses to get the word out to protect our younger patients from misdiagnosis or wrongful medication therapy...if not, who will???

oh boy!!! i'm glad i don't have kids in school. you may find this silly, but on the dr. phil website there is place for this kind of stuff. he has docs who do spacific tests to get a dx, a true dx. search under add or adhd.

Antikigirl, ASN, RN

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

I am so very happy this is getting responses, and please keep them coming!

I have drafted a letter I will send to my congressmen warning them of this bill, and what it will do to the children in my state. Many of our school kids are diagnosed with forms of mental illness, mostly by a school conselor or teacher as is, yet do not have the insurance to follow up with a qualified physician or mental health professional.

When I did my work with the Outdoor school program, many of the children were inner city kids that had never been in a camp setting, and teachers would say "well it looks like you better give them more of their meds" because they were so hyper. Okay, well change their enviroment 180 degrees and you may be a bit nervous, hyper, anxious, or excited! But the teachers scared me that they just wanted me to give them more meds, and actually had their students thinking that too...either about a certain child on meds...or themselves!

I also watched as children were tormented by others..."oh go take your meds psycho!". Which was heartbreaking. All because they were lumped into a group in a setting that is far from private! I don't want that to happen to children..not my child, not your child!

I saw kids selling their meds, and knew that parents may be doing it too. I saw kids popping the pills and saying "wow I am going to get high now, want one?" and knew that some kids out there were sharing their meds. I asked kids why they were on them and got many mixed messages from "I am just too hyper" to "my parents want me to be quiet, so they put me on meds to make me sleep"...which doesn't bode well for a parent child bond!!! I just didn't see anything good come from me being a ritalin despenser..but they have a script, I had orders to give, and I gave...and gave...and gave...

Now imagine every school in the nation using a diagnostic crutch to deal with behaviors they feel are wrong. From talking out at class, to being bored out of your mind...now they will have a label for it, ask parents to medicated their kids for it...in every school in the nation!

I don't want them to even be able to think of this 'crutch'...so keep the ideas flowing and maybe I can draft one heck of a letter to congress!

The drug companies just love this, that is one point. What are teachers, and school counselors doing dxing mental/physicial diseases? So I guess we have children, and make them sleep until they are all grown up, so we don't have to deal with their devlopment stages? Makes me wonder what kind of childhood these teachers had.

I am so very happy this is getting responses, and please keep them coming!

I have drafted a letter I will send to my congressmen warning them of this bill, and what it will do to the children in my state. Many of our school kids are diagnosed with forms of mental illness, mostly by a school conselor or teacher as is, yet do not have the insurance to follow up with a qualified physician or mental health professional.

When I did my work with the Outdoor school program, many of the children were inner city kids that had never been in a camp setting, and teachers would say "well it looks like you better give them more of their meds" because they were so hyper. Okay, well change their enviroment 180 degrees and you may be a bit nervous, hyper, anxious, or excited! But the teachers scared me that they just wanted me to give them more meds, and actually had their students thinking that too...either about a certain child on meds...or themselves!

I also watched as children were tormented by others..."oh go take your meds psycho!". Which was heartbreaking. All because they were lumped into a group in a setting that is far from private! I don't want that to happen to children..not my child, not your child!

I saw kids selling their meds, and knew that parents may be doing it too. I saw kids popping the pills and saying "wow I am going to get high now, want one?" and knew that some kids out there were sharing their meds. I asked kids why they were on them and got many mixed messages from "I am just too hyper" to "my parents want me to be quiet, so they put me on meds to make me sleep"...which doesn't bode well for a parent child bond!!! I just didn't see anything good come from me being a ritalin despenser..but they have a script, I had orders to give, and I gave...and gave...and gave...

Now imagine every school in the nation using a diagnostic crutch to deal with behaviors they feel are wrong. From talking out at class, to being bored out of your mind...now they will have a label for it, ask parents to medicated their kids for it...in every school in the nation!

I don't want them to even be able to think of this 'crutch'...so keep the ideas flowing and maybe I can draft one heck of a letter to congress!

A spectrogram, or EEG is the way ADD/ADHD is dx'd. "The ADD Answer" is a book that may help, by: Dr Frank Lawlis. This makes me mad, I know how thoes kids feel. My father had a mental illness, and doctors told my mother I would have it as well. When the school found out, I was worthless to them. Turns out I never became ill, but the only one in my family to go to college. The school system in your state are really doing a huge disservice to children.

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

Interesting?...you can medicate the child, but do nothing with the environment. Sometimes, it is the environment that needs to take a "chill pill" or change, not the other way around. I'm sure drug companies love these "school programs" which indoctrinate our young to take meds as THE means to cope and function. What's scarey is that I just got done reading a thread about how school secretaries in Indiana were filling in for school nurses. I can see it now..."Johnnie, would you leave my pencil sharpener alone...Here, take a pill. Oh, you don't have one. Here, take one of mine."

boulergirl, CNA

Has 5 years experience.

What's scarey is that I just got done reading a thread about how school secretaries in Indiana were filling in for school nurses.

Do WHAT?!?!? :angryfire

Umm, why are school counselors and secretaries diagnosing kids? I thought a psychiatrist was supposed to do this. I went to a psychologist a few years ago for depression, and knew well and good that a psychiatrist would have to screen me officially for a diagnosis.

Ritalin is nothing to play around with...I have friends who rented a room in their basement to a friend's brother. He had a boatload of problems (including ephedra and alcohol abuse). My friends have to lock their son's ADHD med in the gun cabinet because of this guy. They found out he was opening the capsules, removing the medicine (for his own use), and refilling them with sugar. Then their son was having trouble in school again and his teachers wanted to know why.

Nothing has improved in the social system, or mental health system. Nothing will change until some well liked politician makes this an issue. It should be no suprise to anyone that America produces the most serial killers. Mental health is one thing, dental health is another, physical health is another, yet they all make up the whole health of a person. In our health care system it is not seen this way. In our health care system doctors are taught how to treat disease, but not prevent it. The pay off is $$$$, but not for the consumer.

It's laughable to think that schools have the resources for this!!!! I don't see it happening.

I do want to say that there are kids who are helped by these medications; ADD and ADHD are true diagnoses; and untreated can lead to serious self-esteem issues and depression. I know because for many years when I was approached by pre-school and then elementary teachers I said "boys will be boys" "he is just a smart active kid", and "he'll grow out of it"---well after my son attempted suicide at age 9--I started to think differently. :o At that point he thought he was worthless and would cry "why can't I be good". Medication has changed his life and mine. I now have a bright, funny, likeable, and yes still energetic son, but he can keep up with the demands of school and feels good about himself. Please don't assume because ADD and ADHD are over diagnosed and improperly diagnosed that there are not kids who struggle with a very real illness and need those medications.

It's laughable to think that schools have the resources for this!!!! I don't see it happening.

I do want to say that there are kids who are helped by these medications; ADD and ADHD are true diagnoses; and untreated can lead to serious self-esteem issues and depression. I know because for many years when I was approached by pre-school and then elementary teachers I said "boys will be boys" "he is just a smart active kid", and "he'll grow out of it"---well after my son attempted suicide at age 9--I started to think differently. :o At that point he thought he was worthless and would cry "why can't I be good". Medication has changed his life and mine. I now have a bright, funny, likeable, and yes still energetic son, but he can keep up with the demands of school and feels good about himself. Please don't assume because ADD and ADHD are over diagnosed and improperly diagnosed that there are not kids who struggle with a very real illness and need those medications.

The correct treatment is key.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.