Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bill 374 Mandatory Mental Health Screening Invasive

Bill 374, the proposed bill to enforce mandatory mental health screening for all kids is unnecessary, costly, and invasive. Even if it were to get passed, which is unlikely, the kids most vulnerable and targeted will be the ones who are poor--the ones who come from homes where English is a second language, or who are new to the country, the ones who struggle to navigate their daily lives. Affluent kids from healthy intact families will find ways to bypass the screening; these parents know the definition of advocacy, have the resources to fight back, have access to lawyers, and the best therapists who will counter the report, or deem it inaccurate.

Regardless, this Bill is ludicrous and seeks to identify kids who are falling through the cracks. Idyllically, yes, it would be nice to save all the children. But it's not realistic. We have scarce resources to meet the current needs of our mentally ill population. I came across another op-ed arguing against the screening by Leslie Wolfgang.