Saturday, March 31, 2007

Teenscreen - if you're not sure ... just label them suicidal

This came in on an email I got about Teenscreen. I hear some others have already adopted the teen screen model in some countries and made it mandatory. It is just like George Orwell's 1984 (yes I know I mentioned that before) - but really. I just don't get it like teenagers are committing suicide and throwing themselves out of the window all over the place? Not really - actually why don't we ask the psychiatric profession to supply the rest of society with helmets to protect themselves from the suicidal teenagers?

Jokes aside (actually if we did that people would see how stupid this program really is) it's like finding one problem and then adjusting the whole population to fit the minute possibility that all others are in the same category.

And in any case anything that checks for problems as a systematic check will eventually drive people nutty. There's got to be some evidence or an indication before the checks move in. The Vacin dillema is just one of the same.

Star Tribune
Risks are too great

Your March 26 editorial made a spurious claim that since "schools screen for eye trouble. Why not for brain disorders?" Screening students to assess whether they are "at risk" for suicide or other mental health disorders is a highly subjective, unscientific and extremely difficult task.

David Shaffer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that for every 16 students correctly identified by TeenScreen as "at risk," 84 were falsely labeled. Since the most common "treatment" for mental health disorders is drug therapy, TeenScreen leads to unnecessary drugging and the proven risks of serious side effects from these powerful psychotropic drugs.

TeenScreen has no place in the public school system. The risks to the mental and physical health of our students are too great.


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