By CAMILLE GIGLIO
August 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The California health care and Education elite doesn?t think so. Senator Mark Leno?s current Assembly Bill 543, Minors; Mental Health, may be the capstone completing the 2004 California Mental Health Act - Proposition 63. This bill is the latest try in over 20 years of attempted legislation at the state and federal level to gain unfettered access to your child under the guise of preventive mental health counseling.
This bill authorizes your child, age 12-17, to voluntarily submit to mental health counseling on a drop-in, tax paid, basis, by deleting the current requirement of parental consent or knowledge.
The following is taken directly from the bill:
? In 2004, California voters passed Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which provides increased funding, personnel, and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, adolescent youth, adults, and families. The MHSA imposed a one percent income tax on personal income in excess of $1 million. Community stakeholders groups consisting of consumers, families, and service organizations have met to identify barriers to consumer populations not only for MHSA programs, but for all mental health services. This bill seeks to address the identified barrier of parental consent for youth seeking mental health services.?
SB 543 states, further, that the mental health counselors and their stakeholders believe that you, the parents, ?are the greatest barrier to a child?s mental wellness.? This is very reminiscent of the bills and a book authored by former legislator, John Vasconcellos, while in the legislature and afterwards, stating his belief that parents and religion cause most of the mental health problems for students.
SB 543 has passed the Senate and Assembly committees and is waiting for final action on the Assembly floor before being sent to the Governor. It needs to be vetoed.
Beginning in the 1980?s, due to a state Supreme Court decision issued by Governor Jerry Brown?s appointee, Rose Bird, Parents now have no say over sex education, dispensing of contraceptives to minor students on campus or in off-site clinics, treatment for venereal disease, abortions and approved dismissals from school to obtain reproductive services without parental knowledge or consent.
In other intervention tactics, the state continues to promote authorization of immunizations to students without parental knowledge or consent. Last term?s emotional debate over injecting 12-17 year olds with Gardasil is on-going. One bill, AB 1937, Nathan Fletcher, (R) entitled Pupil Health: Immunizations, is seeking to expand authority to an extended group of medical personnel to deliver immunizations in the school environment, and, include the California Academy of Family Physicians in an advisory capacity. the Ca. Academy of Family Physicians are promoters of Gardasil injections for all teens.
Leno also has a bill, SB 1317, that would allow parental abuse type charges to be filed against parents whose child is a consistent truant. Sen. Darrell Steinberg has a companion bill, SB 1357, that would require that specific information on student school attendance, i.e. truancy rates, be filed with the state on a quarterly basis.
If parents are declared unfit or they are actually put in jail, the child gets sent to a foster home and is then, automatically a candidate for mental health counseling because he has been uprooted from his home.
The basic premise for bills of this nature is not new, nor are the attempts to pass legislation authorizing more and more governmental interventions new. Over the last twenty years some bills have failed and some have been passed, incrementally expanding the right of the state to set standards for individual and family mental and physical wellness.
What is new is the bold steps being taken by legislators and community activist organizations to move into and dominate all areas of family life. It is the passage of Health Care legislation at the federal and state level that is allowing this. The state, aided by mental health stakeholders (meaning, special interests supported by tax dollars), is defining physical and mental health and wellness in partnership with departments of education, preparing today?s students to be trained in and accept future government planned jobs, to reflect a more perfect and cooperative society.
The Steinberg bill and others authorize that all of this data on individual children will be held at the state level and supplied to future employers or whatever agency personnel is authorized to receive it. This is a part of the Workforce Development legislation.
The very first declaration made in the 2004 Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63)states that ?The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that:?Mental illnesses are extremely common; they affect almost every family in California.?
Did we know that we had declared that? Did anybody think to ask for a definition of mental illness? Or, who was doing the defining?
Government prepared guidelines establishing what constitutes appropriate mental health and wellness for society are being written up, just as physical health, wellness and prevention services are provided now. This is the result of the Federal Mental Health Parity Act of 1996. The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, carried an article in its November, 1997, edition entitled ?How Expensive is Unlimited Mental health Coverage Under Managed Care?? written by Roland Sturm of the UCLA/Rand Center on Managed Care.
Basically this article declared that with development of advanced methods of providing drugs, combined with the knowledge that ?3 out of 4 individuals are enrolled in some form of managed medical care..? the costs of providing parity (equality of treatment for both physical and mental health, wellness and prevention) won?t be an additional expense.
On August 12, 2010, an article appeared in the Contra Costa Times entitled ?Opinions sought on mental clinic.? A final Public input hearing is to be held on August 31, in Martinez, on the creation of a mental health outreach facility adjacent to the county hospital in Martinez. Under consideration is a 16 bed crisis residential unit for adults with a limited, 2 to 4 week stay, and/or an urgent care mental health clinic, (walk-in) open 8 AM to midnight where people of all ages [emphasis added] could ?get prescriptions refilled, talk to a counselor and receive other help.?
I inquired whether the phrase ?people of all ages? included those ages 12-17 attending without parental consent? Apparently the spokesperson had not heard of Sen. Leno?s bill, but she did point out that under certain circumstances, the Mental health Act already allowed teens to receive emergency mental health services without parental notification. Or, if the child is in foster care, for example, with notification of the person who has official custody of the child (a social worker). If the situation is of a critical nature, say a suicide attempt in a school setting, and parents are not readily available, assistance will be administered prior to obtaining parental consent.
Granted that there may well be special circumstances when interventions need to be applied and legislative authorization provided, is this what Senator Leno has in mind with his bill? Let?s see.
The bill defines mental health treatment or counseling services to mean the ?provision of outpatient mental health treatment or counseling by a professional person.? It also includes self referral to ?residential shelter services.?
It would provide this service to ?a minor who is 12 years of age or older [who] may consent to outpatient mental health services, if, in the opinion of the professional person, as defined, the minor is mature enough to participate intelligently in the mental health treatment or counseling services.? It also expands the age limit to 25 years if the child has been in foster care. Is foster care that bad?
By the way, this will all be funded with our tax dollars. Did I say that already?
Does this ring a bell, folks? This is almost the exact wording of the minor consent laws for reproductive services allowing minors to get contraceptives and abortions without parental knowledge or consent.
The most disconcerting phrase in that statement is ?in the opinion of the professional person.? If the so-called professional person believes that parents and religion are the uppermost causes of problems for a child, and that opposition to gay and lesbian lifestyles is a disorientation of one?s thinking, then, of course, that child is going to be encouraged to attend a mental health drop-in facility which just might end up being on campus along with the medical clinic.
All in one day your child could, by the end of the day, get contraceptives, and see a mental health worker (not necessarily a licensed psychologist or psychiatric nurse) who will tell that child that his or her parents have no right to restrict their reproductive freedoms and the child is free to make whatever choice she wants. It also includes self diagnosed child abuse. How many teenagers feel quite certain that they are being abused by their parents when limitations are being set? I recently listened to a member of the clergy talk about too many religious laws being placed on people making life too burdensome.
Senator Leno, in support of his bill, has made references to teens who are, or are considering the gay and lesbian life, often subjected to stressful situations by their peers and, therefore, in need of counseling.
In this day of post Prop 8 equality for gays and lesbians, anyone declaring opposition to the gay and lesbian lifestyle could be considered mentally unbalanced. Does your child have a religious belief that unlimited sexual activity for a minor is sinful? That?s grounds for mental illness in the minds of some social work professionals, requiring mental health prevention counseling just like physical health prevention counseling considers contraceptives to be the best defense against teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases. In other words, don?t change the activity just change the minds of those who object to or are resistant to diverse lifestyles.
Several self-serving non-profit organizations have gotten into the act. One, entitled Zero to Three believes that children can be born with mental illness so pregnant mothers need to be counseled and watched over. Children ages zero to five years need mental health workers.
The supporters of SB 543 provide a telling example of what Leno has in mind. The California Youth empowerment is one of the supporters. Also, Gay-Straight Alliance and Equality California are co-sponsors along with the California Adolescent Health Collaborative. All of these groups continually lobby for expanded services to children without parental knowledge, involvement or consent. They will all profit financially from passage of SB 543.
Protect your children. Urge the Governor to veto SB 543 by Sen. Mark Leno, Minors: Mental Health. The mind you save may be your child?s.
© 2010 Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.