Browsing articles in "Mental Health"
Feb 20, 2010
ELW

DFL Bills Promote Mental Health Curricula, Continue Child Care Takeover and Micromanage High School Counseling

Continuing the big government trend to spend money that neither the state nor federal governments have for ideas that are not only not at all needed, but are actually intrusive and harmful, a trio of bills will be heard in House education committees this week:

1. HF 664 (Welti)/ SF 1531 (Torres Ray) heard in the House Education Policy Committee on 2/17 at 8:30 AM – This bill as introduced required the commissioner of education to establish a model mental health curriculum for grades 7-12.  The proposed substitute amendment instead encourages districts to develop these curricula and demands that the Minnesota Department of Education provide support based on the national health education standards and a bunch of Minnesota developed benchmarks that are not even easily available for public review.

This is a bad idea for numerous reasons.  First, national and international groups like the World Health Organization, the US Surgeon General, and authors of psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual all admit that the definitions of both mental health and mental illness, especially in children and adolescents, is difficult to uniformly describe and is based on ever-changing societal and cultural norms.  Secondly, this is further psychologization of curriculum open to political indoctrination and labeling.  Thirdly, it is a diversion from academic curricula when math and reading scores are stagnant and there are large achievement gaps between poor students often from single parent families and middle class students.  Finally, neither cash-strapped districts nor the state department that is subject to further budget cuts from the governor’s proposed budget balancing plan can afford this. Continue reading »

Nov 9, 2009
ELW

Home Visiting in Health Care Bills Promotes Government Intrusion into Homes

Among the MANY important reasons to oppose the health care “reform” bills now working their way through Congress from EdWatch’s point of view are the efforts to expand home visiting programs and the mental screening of new mothers. Language of these programs is in the House and Senate bills respectively.  The latest House bill, HR 3962, that sadly passed the full House, plans to spend $750,000,000 through 2014 and the Senate Finance Committee version, S 1796 spend $1,500,000,000 over the same period to implement the very bad idea of home visiting. For new mothers, the House bill spends “such sums as may be necessary” and the Senate spends $3,000,000 initially, and then “such sums as may be necessary” through 2012 to fund grants that will include the promotion of mental screening of pregnant women and new mothers.

These odious home visiting programs send government workers into the homes of mostly poor families, although the Federal home visiting bill also wants to do the same with military families. These workers then make sure children are being raised according to government standards, collect massive amounts of data about every aspect of the family and their lives, and make sure that families are “helped” into dependence on government services like childcare/preschool and mental health services.  EdWatch has described the many problems with the federal stand-alone bills.    Continue reading »

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