"It sailed through the Indiana General Assembly with only one dissent in 2005, but in the past few weeks Senate Enrolled Act 529 and portions of it have received national attention.
... the section that is drawing the ire of conservatives, civil rights proponents and even some of the legislators who passed the law, is the section directing the DOE (Department of Education) to ...develop and coordinate a children’s social, emotional and behavioral health plan". [mental illness screening]
Some legislators are now talking about repealing the law.
fwdailynews.com (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Below are comments from FWDailyNews.com readers regarding this series. Feel free to add your own thoughts about SEA 529: http://www.kpcnews.com/online_features/sea529/comments/comments.txt
James R Speiser, VMD wrote on September 21, 2006 10:46 AM:"I am a doctor and a parent. I am appalled at the idea of lawmakers instituting a "screen" for mental illness in children. This is the most outrageous idea possible. It is assured that the Psychs will be able to justify a diagnosis from the DSM, all of which are fabricated diseases in the 1st place. This law MUST BE REPEALED before the entire future of the planet (children) are drugged into a state of robotic calm....that apparently is considered a "normal" state of being. Let children be children and get the psychs out of the schools. "
Chantal Valtin wrote on September 21, 2006 7:45 AM:"Thank you for the article entitled "Children's Mental Health Discussion Must Begin" of Sunday Sept 17. We need to let people know how dangerous it is to let all kids (and they even talk about infants & toddlers now!!) be screened for "potential" mental disorder or suicidal thoughts. This is just another way of being able to sell more drugs and make people more docile, killing all creativity these kids have. I invite you to have a look at www.resultsproject.net and see how you can shift your point of view on this ADD problem. I want also to point out that Indiana Gov. Mitch Danielsm who signed the Indiana law was the former president of Eli Lilly... any link here? Thank you for the controversy... and keep fighting for our rights!"
Ernest Ryan wrote on September 20, 2006 10:13 PM:"Here is an example of what Indiana families can expect to see happen if they do not take immediate action to repeal SEA 529. This bill mandates universal mental health testing for Indiana children. As a result of this, all school children will take some form of invasive mental health survey such as the TeenScreen survey that was recently run on a pilot group of 71 Mansfield, Ohio area ninth-graders. Based on the results of that screening "39 students required a follow-up interview with a clinician." That's 55% of what would otherwise be considered normal students now needing to see a mental health clinician based on answers they gave to the TeenScreen survey. That's quite a few kids that might end up spending years taking drugs like Prozac, Strattera, Cymbalta or Zyprexa. These are all expensive and often violence and suicide-inducing psychiatric drugs made by Eli Lilly. The fact that Gov. Mitch Daniels was the former President of Eli Lilly is one big reason SEA 529 got signed into law. I wonder how much the Indiana Commission on Mental Health had to do with designing this ground-breaking mental health plan for Indiana school children. Just when the light of public outrage started shining on mandated mental health screening in Indiana, Robert Postlethwait, a member of that commission, quietly resigned. He was also a 30-year employee of Eli Lilly and an advisor to TeenScreen which figures prominently in surveying children for mental illness in many American schools and funneling them to psychiatrists who put them on psychiatric medications in almost every case. It seems to me that Robert Postlethwait should become a person of interest. With Eli Lilly being centered in Indianapolis, is it any wonder why Indiana school children are being set up to be prescribed the profitable psychiatric drugs that they make? With the help of TeenScreen, the Madison Center in South Bend, Indiana, is now treating over 500 kids per day for trumped up mental illnesses and they recently broke ground on an expansion building so they can treat many more kids. This was all reported in the South Bend Tribune in September, 2005. People need to question how SEA 529 came about and investigate the connections and backgrounds of everyone connected to bringing that law into existence. Then repeal SEA 529 and prosecute those found promoting the interests of Eli Lilly and other drug companies at the expense of Indiana's children and families. This whole issue is not about the welfare of children at all. It is about ruthless greed, money and hooking kids on profitable psychiatric drugs and nothing else. "
James Rugg, CARE representative (Citizen Awareness of the Restructuring of Education), St. Cloud, MN wrote on September 20, 2006 1:55 PM:"Thank you for your work on and interest in the mental health debacle surfacing country wide. This is indeed an invasion of personal rights as well as a further removal of parental responsibility in the control of their children. All the federal government has to do is promote some issue, tag millions of dollars to it to get it going, and representatives in state legislatures fall all over themselves to get in on the monies. If you haven't noticed already, there has been an effort in K-12 schools to enhance the psychiatric industries position in student issues. In MN, some screening was done before legislation was even introduced. It was kept on the quiet and justified by some obscure older rule. I refer you to the work of Dr. Karen Effrem who has done extensive study and reporting on the subject of mental health screening. Her work can be found at www.EdWatch.org . Keep on this. It is critical."
Garrison Clarke, Altadena, CA wrote on September 20, 2006 8:48 AM:"Physical and mental are different. One deals with the body and the other with the mind. The mind is not a physical thing. You can't touch the mind or hold it in your hand. The brain is not a mind. Each person has his own mind and it is uniquely his. When a government wants to manipulate a mind you have something other than a government. When a Board of Education wants to manipulate a mind you have something other than an educational body. It is one thing to have an opinion about how a person is. It is another thing to try to mold them into what you want them to be. Each person is an individual. That is the way it is. Lab rats are never going to provide insight into the mind of a human being. Where there is no understanding there will be no improvement. This is simple common sense. Repeal SEA 529 Psychiatrists are pseudo scientists who position themselves as being like medical practitioners. They hope to gain credibility. Their marketing apparatus will give a list of physical problems the schools "screen" for. Among physical problems are sandwiched psychiatrists invented names. The list sounds like, "cancer, tumor, math disorder, broken bones, etc". The only "treatment" for a psychiatrists "illness" is a pharmaceutical poison. The pseudo scientist can't cure a thing and he will tell he can't if you ask him. Repeal SEA 529 The Indiana state government is headed up by Eli Lilly's former president. The people involved here have pharmaceutical ties form top to bottom. There is not one shred of evidence that a pharmaceutical/psychiatric approach to child care has done anything but harm children. Repeal SEA 529 TeenScreen is a fraud. They tell us teen suicide is the third leading cause of death among kids 15-19 years old. They say 1,700 kids kill themselves each year. It is impossible to find these in a population of over 34,000,000 kids. That is a .00005 percentage of suicidal kids youï¿½d have to locate each year. At least half of the kids who kill themselves are taking the psychotropic drugs the FDA warns cause suicidal behavior. If you really want to prevent suicide get these kids off of the drugs. Repeal SEA 529"
Tony Miller, Fresno, Ca. wrote on September 20, 2006 8:37 AM:" If ever there was a time for a hard hitting investigative reporter...now is that time. When I was 14 my dad killed himself. My mother developed mental problems trying to deal with it. I was left 'man of the house' in my dad's suicide note. In other words, I was left to handle all the problems. I did everything I could to fulfill that assignment. I just want you to know my sincerity and motivation for writing. I am now 60 and have lived a wonderful life as have my children and grandchildren. Few have studied as long and hard as I have to understand suicide and mental stress. I have reached some objective conclusions. Psychiatry is NOT the solution but the biggest problem. When I was 21 I took my mother to a psychiatrist. That is when her real problems began. They put her on psychotropic drugs. She went downhill fast and became violent and suicidal. Finally, a real physician came to the rescue and put her on a plan to eliminate the psych drugs and put her on a strict diet and demanded family members take her for walks and get her out of the house. He pulled me aside and said " I wouldn't take a dog to a psychiatrist. I have seen this my entire career but looked the other way for fear of being blackballed. I am ashamed of my cowardess.I retire this year so I no longer care about what they can do." I started feverishly studying to prove that real doctor wrong and justify my decision to seek psychiatric 'help' for my mom. I studied a LOT. I finally came to the honest realization that I had fell for the very sophisticated manipulation techniques developed by Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays. Nothing has permeated our society more than these 'public relations and propaganda techniques'. They started with the tobacco industry and now psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry have joined forces in the most lucrative financial endeavor ever dreamed of. The only problem is that more people will die and more lives will be ruined than any scenario envisioned by anti-tobacco lobby. I beseech you once again...please do thorough research and ask hard hitting questions of the psychiatrists as though children's lives may depend on it, because they do. I have a lot of investigative material by the worlds top objective authorities stored on my computer if you need it I will send it. "
Tom Beattie, Enola, Pa. wrote on September 20, 2006 8:26 AM:"I applaud FWdailynews.com for being concerned about the out of control "mental health" community and its reach into our kids lives. I am sure many of your readers are aware that Senate Enrolled Act 529 is all about treatment, and that treatment is with "drugs". I am also sure your readers are aware that Gov Mitch Daniels is also a past president of Eli Lilly Co. Do I hear conflict of interest? How many commission members who are implementing this program are employed by Lilly or are psychologists and would stand to monetarily benefit from it's implementation? SEA 529 sounds like it passed like the Patriot Act did with a "just vote yes for it as it is groundbreaking legislation for our children's mental health and their bright futures". Who would argue if today's so called mental health professionals could actually cure the bogus bipolar disorder, but all the psychiatrists do is prescribe Lilly's prozac or SmithKline's Paxil which are not cures, only expensive highs and big big letdowns with toxic and deadly side effects. For the sake of Indiana's future, Repeal the SEA! Our kids do not need the state or the feds deciding our kids mental health. Kick Big Brother OUT!"
Pearl Lantz wrote on September 19, 2006 4:30 PM:"Thank you for your excellent article regarding SEA 529. As is obvious, this has opened up a can of worms which the government has no business in. This smacks of Big Brother, deciding which of our children needs conforming to the "norm." Who decides on what is normal? The psychiatrist? The person with vested interests in drugging everyone and making tons of profit from it? I think not! This bill needs to be repealed to send a message to all of the states that the government and the drug companies have no business in running our lives and that of our children. As a further note, the money ties are so very obvious. Were you aware that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who signed the Indiana law, was the former President of Eli Lilly? Indianapolis is the home office for Eli Lilly. Are any of the Commission members employed by pharmaceutical companies? I smell a rat. Please use your investigative reporting skills and weed this one out."
Doris Bentz wrote on September 19, 2006 4:19 PM:"We must not let pharmaceutical companies nor the psychs get away with drugging our children and enslave our future generations. We must stop them. WE must enforce our human rights and let the people of this wonderful country know what they're up against. NO to Teen Screen! No to legislators that have ties to the pharmaceutical companies! This is serious business, it is the future of our country. Let's preserve our freedom!!"
Ole Thiemer, Copenhagen wrote on September 19, 2006 4:19 PM:"I saw your article in the newspaper and even I'm not a US citizens I am worried. Because if the state first are allowed to take away parents rights I see the future as some of the worse movies I have seen about the future, where man are slaves of the few. The point is that I have seen a lot of evidence that many, many of the mental illnesses isn't illnesses but a mocked up thing to provide money for the few (The drug companies). This I even have on a CD-ROM where several psychiatrists admit that there isn't any evidence and there isn't any cure. If you are interested I will be happy to send you a link so you can see for your self."
John Marty, Kendallville wrote on September 19, 2006 3:05 PM:"I wanted to let you know I think you did a whale of a job on the article you had in the Sunday Sept 17, 2006 News Sun on the Mental Health Bill SEA 529. Even though I have never been married and not a father of any kids (I don't expect either of these things to happen for me before my days are done here on earth) I support parents' rights to raise their children the way the parents see fit not the way government per se tells parents what they can and cannot do. I would like to know and would please find out how the following Indiana legislators voted on this Bill: State Senators Bob Meeks and Dennis Kruse. House representives Marlin Stutzman, Matt Bell and Dick Dodge. If you can find out who all the legislators were that voted for this bill. I want this bill SEA 529 totallly repealed just like I want the "Daylight Savings Time" Bill totally repealed. Government per se has gotten entirely too big for its britches and now this country is becoming a "Dictatorship." We citizens are no longer free to make our own decisions on almost everything. I did not like the Toll Road Bill either and I feel anyone in the Indiana legislature who voted for that Toll Road Bill as well as the Daylight Savings Time bill should be removed from Office Immediately and never allowed to run even for the office of "Fly Catcher " if there were such an office. This includes our current Governor Mr Yo-Yo Daniels. Please try and find out and let me and others know who voted for the bill SEA 529. Good job you did on the legislation bill SEA 529."
Mary Hilton, Pinellas County, FL wrote on September 19, 2006 2:40 PM:"Parents and citizens of Indiana and Ohio need to fully inform themselves on the bed of worms which is "mental health" screening, when they do this, they will refuse to consent to such idiocy. Parents and citizens need to promote that schools do their job, and only their job, which is teaching, get it, T E A C H I N G! Students do well when they are competently taught, so that they are learning. When information is presented in an interesting and relavent way, students learn and when they are learning worthwhile data their morale is in good shape. Parents and citizens need to know that there is real help for students, and everyone for that matter who are suffering life's stresses and traumas. Real help is available from dieticians, nutritionists, PE teachers and coaches, music teachers, chiropractors, ministers, medical doctors for diagnosing medical conditions for which there is scientific, verifiable proof and other non psychiatric experts. My county's school board voted not to use TeenScreen when they fully informed themselves."
James and Lorraine Wright wrote on September 19, 2006 2:39 PM:"Thank you for your investigation into the mental health screening of our children in our public schools. As parents we are outraged at the very idea of this program and we feel that instead of helping our children, it will actually cause great harm to them. There are so many flaws and so much vested interest in this undertaking that we are disgusted at our officials and their inept handling of this most vital decision. Again, we thank you. "