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Back to July Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 234 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JULY 2005

Texas Fends Off Mental Health Screening
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Alert conservatives headed off a last-minute amendment to a Texas mental health reform bill in May, thereby stopping the implementation of recommendations of the controversial New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.

Grassworks efforts by EdWatch, Texas Eagle Forum and others persuaded legislators to withdraw the amendment during conference committee negotiations on the final weekend of the legislative session. Pyschologist John Breeding, founder of Texans for Safe Education, testified against the amendment and mobilized his members against it.

Dr. Breeding is now caring for Aliah Gleason, a 13-year-old Texas girl who was forcibly confined to a state mental hospital, drugged and denied parental visits for many months after a school screening.

The amendment, which would have cost billions of dollars, sought to:

  • integrate mental and physical health care in Texas

  • screen for "co-occurring physical, mental and substance-abuse disorders"

  • develop "integrated treatment strategies" for both adults and children, using the controversial Texas Medication Algorithm Project.

Gun Owners of America issued a bulletin to its Texas members, stating, "The amendment calls for a mental health screening system that could potentially cover every child in the state — with no guarantee that it won't be done over the objections of the parents."

For background on the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and the Texas Medication Algorithm Project, see Education Reporter, Feb. 2005.


 
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