CT Report Lays Groundwork for Nationwide Psychiatric Surveillance

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FA Notes:

  • JAMA survey reports 14.2 per­cent of ado­les­cents ages 13 to 18 years with any men­tal dis­or­der report­ed being treat­ed with a psy­chotrop­ic med­ica­tion.
  • Some psy­chi­a­trists admit psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders are not med­ical dis­eases; there are no lab tests, brain scans, X-rays or chem­i­cal imbal­ance tests that can ver­i­fy any men­tal dis­or­der is a phys­i­cal con­di­tion.
  • Fed­er­al law pro­hibits the Sec­ond Amend­ment to drug users.
  • Will this men­tal health screen­ing be used to dis­arm our chil­dren before they reach the age of major­i­ty?


James F. Tracy, Florida Atlantic University associate professor

James F. Tra­cy, Flori­da Atlantic Uni­ver­si­ty asso­ciate pro­fes­sor

Adam Lanza [Image Credit: New York Daily News]

Adam Lan­za
[Image Cred­it: New York Dai­ly News]

On Novem­ber 21, 2014 the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advo­cate issued a 114-page report, Shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School: Report of the Office of the Child Advo­cate (PDF), focus­ing on the ambigu­ous pro­file of Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­er Adam Lan­za that may become the basis for men­tal health prac­tices through­out the Unit­ed States.

With con­trib­u­tors includ­ing psy­chi­a­trists and aca­d­e­mi­cians from edu­ca­tion and social work depart­ments, the pub­li­ca­tion comes just two months after the US Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices and Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion announced over $160 mil­lion in fund­ing for widescale research and deploy­ment of men­tal health ini­tia­tives in the nation’s pub­lic schools.[1]

OCA began a com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion and review of records relat­ed to the life of AL,” the document’s pre­am­ble reads, “includ­ing his med­ical, men­tal health and edu­ca­tion records, as well as un-redact­ed state police and law enforce­ment records.”(p. 6).

Among 37 “key find­ings,” the state­ment express­es con­cern over “siloed sys­tems of edu­ca­tion, phys­i­cal health, and men­tal health care for chil­dren” that “strong­ly impli­cate the need to assist par­ents with under­stand­ing and address­ing the needs of chil­dren with com­plex devel­op­men­tal and men­tal health dis­or­ders” (p. 9).

Manda­to­ry men­tal health “screen­ings” and “eval­u­a­tions” are rec­om­mend­ed to rem­e­dy the poten­tial threat of fur­ther “Adam Lan­zas.”

The fol­low­ing is a sum­ma­ry overview of the OCA report’s key rec­om­men­da­tions, many of which will like­ly be rec­om­mend­ed or man­dat­ed by fed­er­al edu­ca­tion and pub­lic health author­i­ties for adop­tion through­out the US.

  • Uni­ver­sal screen­ing for behav­ioral health and devel­op­men­tal impair­ments for chil­dren ages birth to 21.
  • Refer­ral for thor­ough eval­u­a­tion and assess­ment by out­side experts for a child “dis­play­ing the types of mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary devel­op­men­tal chal­lenges AL pre­sent­ed…”
  • Access to “qual­i­ty care coor­di­na­tion” for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.
  • Access to train­ing and infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing men­tal health issues for teach­ers, admin­is­tra­tors, ser­vice per­son­nel, pedi­a­tri­cians, and par­ents.
  • Staffing and finan­cial sup­ports for providers.
  • Effec­tive and sus­tained fam­i­ly engage­ment work as part of men­tal health treat­ment for chil­dren.
  • Address­ing of the “role of denial in ill­ness.”
  • Access to ther­a­peu­tic ser­vices, psy­cho-edu­ca­tion, and peer sup­port for fam­i­lies.
  • Readi­ness of “sys­tems” to respond when a par­ent appears unwill­ing or unable to meet the needs of their child [aka refus­es to med­icate].
  • Bet­ter out­reach to par­ents who have dif­fi­cul­ties “reach­ing out” or feel “mis­trust in the med­ical and edu­ca­tion­al sys­tems…”
  • Active par­tic­i­pa­tion of schools con­cern­ing the men­tal health and well­ness of their stu­dents.
  • Sup­port to schools to enable them to “retain or import ther­a­peu­tic and oth­er relat­ed ser­vices…”
    Eval­u­a­tion of chil­dren by schools “in all areas of sus­pect­ed dis­abil­i­ty, includ­ing con­duct­ing social-emo­tion­al eval­u­a­tions…”
  • A more “holis­tic approach to iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for spe­cial edu­ca­tion eli­gi­bil­i­ty that encour­ages atten­tion to mul­ti­ple aspects of dis­abil­i­ty…”
  • State con­sid­er­a­tion of “an audit of exist­ing home­bound prac­tices and pro­ce­dures…”
  • More atten­tion paid to “post-sec­ondary readi­ness for dis­abled youth and young adults…”
  • State and local edu­ca­tion­al and men­tal health and devel­op­men­tal ser­vices agen­cies must work togeth­er to iden­ti­fy cur­rent capac­i­ty and ser­vice deliv­ery needs, train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, and must cre­ate capac­i­ty-build­ing ser­vices at all lev­els.”
  • Increased work­force, tech­ni­cal sup­port and exper­tise to help meet the needs of “chil­dren with com­plex devel­op­men­tal or men­tal health dis­or­ders, and their fam­i­lies.”
  • Sup­port for schools to pro­vide and import “com­pre­hen­sive health or devel­op­men­tal sup­ports” to chil­dren with “high­ly spe­cial­ized needs.”

In real­i­ty, the OCA report lays the ground­work for imple­men­ta­tion of a nation­wide pro­gram sim­i­lar to the one present­ly being beta test­ed in Scot­land, “Get­ting it Right for Every Child,” or GIRFEC. The GIRFEC project man­dates assign­ment of a “Named Per­son for every child and young per­son, and a Lead Pro­fes­sion­al (where nec­es­sary) to co-ordi­nate and mon­i­tor mul­ti-agency activ­i­ty” that ren­ders the tra­di­tion­al fam­i­ly to the role of a dis­tant care­tak­er.

Using ver­biage and notions remark­ably sim­i­lar to the the Har­vard-affil­i­at­ed and New­town area psy­chi­a­trist John Woodall,[2] GIRFEC empha­sizes the devel­op­ment of “resilient” young peo­ple who are capa­ble of devel­op­ing emo­tion­al detach­ment from instances of pro­found loss–such as nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and active shoot­er events and evi­dent in the recent pro­mo­tion of slo­gans such as “New­town Strong,” “Boston Strong,” and, most recent­ly, “FSU Unit­ed.”

Indeed, GIRFEC advo­cates main­tain the pro­gram “enables chil­dren and young peo­ple to get the help they need when they need it” and over­all “sup­ports a pos­i­tive shift in cul­ture, sys­tems and prac­tice … to improve life chances for chil­dren, young peo­ple and fam­i­lies.”

Such a project increas­ing­ly lays bare the oppor­tunis­tic use and per­haps true intent of the Sandy Hook mas­sacre event: dra­mat­i­cal­ly inten­si­fied bureau­crat­ic and qua­si-sci­en­tif­ic con­trol over the every­day lives of chil­dren along­side the con­tin­ued ero­sion of the fam­i­ly itself.

[1] James F. Tra­cy, “Pro­tect­ing Our Chil­dren in the Wake of Sandy Hook: Psy­chi­atric Sur­veil­lance of US Pub­lic School Chil­dren,” GlobalResearch.ca, Novem­ber 4, 2014.
[2] James F. Tra­cy, “Glob­al Gov­er­nance and the New World Order Reli­gion,” GlobalResearch.ca, April 14, 2013.

(Co-author) Vivien Leigh is the nom de plume of a tenured pro­fes­sor at a US east coast uni­ver­si­ty.