Friday, January 04, 2008

Massachusetts' Mandatory Mental Screening - Boston Globe out to Lunch

Massachusetts' Mandatory Mental Health Screening

The State of Massachusetts is embarking on what strikes me as an excessive social experiment. As of Jan. 1 annual checkups for about 500,000 kids and teens on the state's Medicaid program will have to include a mental health screening, regardless of whether there's a reason to suspect mental health issues in the patient or not, reports the Boston Globe. Doctors are required to do this with each patient, although parents and children are not legally required to comply. But then most people are utterly in thrall to doctors and I doubt many would tell their doctor to back off.

The paper also has an enthusiastic editorial supporting the program. That's kind of bizarre since the paper has been one of the best at reporting on just how screwed up mental health care for kids is and how dangerous some of the treatments are. Perhaps the paper's editorialists should re-read the paper's series on the Rebecca Riley case and the bipolar child paradigm.

One of the symptom checklists on the paper's website contains a stunning array of non-symptom symptoms: teases others, refuses to share, is fidgety, acts younger than others, daydreams too much, is afraid of new situations. And so on. Many of these symptoms are hardly indicative of abnormal behavior or psychology

Could someone please let me know what is the objective standard for daydreaming?

I object to this mandatory screening for a number of reasons:

More here,


Philip Dawdy said...

since you've got no email on your site, let me try and communicate with you here. while i appreciate your highlighting my work, you are violating the terms of use for my work, which is all copyrighted, as laid out on my site's about page. you need to ask me for permission to take an entire post from me and what's more you don't even provide a link back to my original post. would you be kind enough to rectify this?

Psychdata said...

I've gone ahead and reduced the post with a link to your site. Thanks Philip, keep up the great work.

AmyG said...

Mental Screening video: