Friday, February 23, 2007

Just Say No To TeenScreen

Updates on Montana, Illinois and Florida legislation to come soon.
But, now Minnesota legislators are at it. SAY NO to S.F. 148

The Minnesota Senate Committee on Health, Housing and Family Security is hearing a bill on Monday 02/26/2007, 12:30 PM in Room 15 Capitol to fund TeenScreen. The agenda verifying this bill will be heard by this committee can be found here:
E-mail the Chairman of this committee and bcc the committee members. E-mail addresses provided below.
Full bill here:
The commissioner of education shall develop a request for proposals for grants to implement the Columbia TeenScreen program. The request for proposals shall require the grant applicant to specify how the applicant will follow, implement, and conduct the essential components of the Columbia TeenScreen program. Applicants for grants shall be limited to public schools and family service collaboratives.
Some points to consider: :

1. There is a national controversy on screening kids for suicide. See petition here: and video here: The petition can be presented as it is addressed to state legislators.

2. There is no evidence that screening for suicide works! See U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report here:
A. no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.
B. limited evidence on the accuracy of screening tools to identify suicide risk
C. insufficient evidence that treatment of those at high risk reduces suicide attempts
D. no studies were found that directly address the harms of screening and treatment for suicide risk. .

3. The chairman of the above Task Force, Ned Calonge, who is also chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said recently in the Washington Post "Whether or not we like to admit it, there are no interventions that have no harms, There is weak evidence that screening can distinguish people who will commit suicide from those who will not, he said. And screening inevitably leads to treating some people who do not need it. Such interventions have consequences beyond side effects from drugs or other treatments, he said. Unnecessary care drives up the cost of insurance, causing some people to lose coverage altogether. Reference:

4. The bill has the high possibility of increasing suicides! Since 90% of shrinks use psychiatric drugs as their main method of treatment and the FDA says these drugs produce suicide ideation, what do you think will happen? See sample black box warning here:

5. Ask them if they'd be willing to be suicide screened themselves with the suicide screening questions that were recently exposed nationally here:

6. If they want to reduce the rare instances of teen suicides they need to educate parents about the dangers and FDA suicide warnings on psychiatric drugs.


Chair: Senator John Marty

Senators - Committee on Health, Housing and Family Security:

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