On Friday Congress defeated an amendment I introduced that would have prevented the federal government from moving forward with an Orwellian program to mandate mental health screening of kids in schools. This program, recommended by a presidential commission, has not yet been established at the federal level. However, your tax dollars are being given to states that apply for grants to establish their own programs – and a full-fledged program run by the Department of Health and Human Services is on the way.
Nearly 100 members of Congress supported my amendment. Many of these members represent Texas and Illinois, two states that already have mental health screening programs in place. They have heard from their constituents, who believe intimate mental health problems should be addressed by parents, kids, and their doctors – not the government. These parents do not appreciate yet another government program that undermines their parental authority.
The psychiatric establishment and the pharmaceutical industry of course support government mental health screening programs in schools, because they both stand to benefit from millions of new customers. But we should not allow self-interested industries to use a government program to create a captive audience for their products.