Finally, legitimate questions remain about whether such tests really help students achieve healthier lifestyles. TeenScreen, for example, has an 84% false-positive rate. This means that 84% of teens diagnosed as having some sort of mental health or social disorder are, in fact, perfectly normal teenagers. Furthermore, although the CDC insists that there is no danger in asking students highly suggestive questions about sex, drugs and suicide, as a parent, I’d prefer to decide the timing and content of such a sensitive discussion.
WHEREAS, A program known as the "Columbia TeenScreen Program", developed at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Columbia University, has been proven successful, offers technical assistance for implementation of a screening program, and provides all the components for such a program at no charge at this time; therefore, be it RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-THIRD GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we recognize that mental illness and suicide among young people are public health crises in this State and in this nation and that all residents of Illinois should make the identification of mental disorders and the prevention of suicide among the young people of this State a public health priority; and be it further RESOLVED, That we recommend that every young person should be screened once during childhood or adolescence to identify mental illness and prevent suicide.
Maybe the majority party will stop it, but I'm not seeing that in reading Ounce of Prevention's newsletters. Not at all. Senator Durbin's correspondence isn't too reassuring. My redline is in place below on his pertinent points.
From: Correspondence_Reply@durbin.senate.gov [mailto:Correspondence_Reply@durbin.senate.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 10:30 AM
Subject: Message From Senator Durbin
May 3, 2005
Ms. Susan Ryan
Dear Ms. Ryan:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the recommendations of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
I understand your concerns about mandatory screening. In its July 2003 final report, the Commission recommended a transformation of our nation's approach to mental health care.
However, the Commission did not recommend mandatory screening of all children to identify those at risk of mental health problems because the research on screening for children is inadequate. Also, no legislation has been introduced to mandate screening.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your views.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
I'm having a hard time thinking that he saw my picture as compared to what his picture was. He's talking the talk that pharmaceuticals like to hear though. I'll use my redline freely below.
Home Visitation Programs: The Education Begins at Home Act (S.503 / H.R. 3628) provides funding to states for quality early childhood home visitation programs such as Parents as Teachers and Early Head Start, among others. The Senate version, with Republican leadership and bi-partisan co-sponsors (including Senator Dick Durbin), has been referred to committee for consideration. Efforts in the House are being led by a bi-partisan group including Representatives Danny Davis (D-Chicago), Rahm Emmanuel (D-Chicago), and Ray LaHood (R-Peoria). For more information visit: http://www.fightcrime.org/ebah.php.
Children’s Mental Health : The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2006 (S.3449), led by Democratic Senators Durbin and Dodd (CT), seeks to improve the quality and availability of mental health services for children and adolescents by encouraging states to develop comprehensive mental health plans, develop new programs and utilize early intervention and prevention services. The bill is designed to help address the difficulties in child mental health services identified by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and the U.S. Surgeon General. The bill has been sent to committee for consideration. There is no House version of the legislation at this time.
Perinatal Depression : The Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Post Partum Depression (MOTHERS) Act (S.3529) is designed to ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services. The bill also seeks to increase research on postpartum depression at the National Institutes of Health. The bill has been sent to committee for consideration. There is no House version of the legislation at this time.