Skip to comments.Parents Share Tales Of Navigating State's Mental Health System For Children (Want school testing)
Posted on 03/27/2014 3:14:06 AM PDT by raybbr
HARTFORD Mary Jo Andrews, Carol Poehnert and several other West Hartford mothers of children with mental-health problems had quietly met for eight years, usually over dinner, to share their experiences and frustrations, and to trade tips and shortcuts learned while navigating the treatment system.
Then the Sandy Hook School tragedy happened in December 2012.
"And we decided we needed to get out and do some advocating,'' Andrews told 70 parents and health care professionals at a forum at the Institute of Living Wednesday evening.
It is the first of a handful of planned sessions part of an effort driven by the state Department of Children and Families to gather input that might fuel reform of Connecticut's overwhelmed mental-health network for children.
Andrews and Poehnert, tapping into their hard-won knowledge of the system as it stands today, hit on themes that a dozen or more other speakers touched on Wednesday night: a dearth of interim treatment options after a child is discharged from an emergency room or inpatient facility; the lingering stigma of mental illness, born of ignorance and a lack of public education, that deepens the suffering of children; and a desperate needed for earlier, more precise recognition of the signs and symptoms of mental illness in children.
""They test our children in school for vision, hearing and scoliosis. Why not mental health?" asked Poehnert.
She went on to suggest that mental-health screening should be included in well-child exams at a pediatrician's office, and said she is aware of "baseline tests" that have discovered subtle mental-health issues in children as young as seven.
(Excerpt) Read more at courant.com ...
Another reason they are doing this is to bolster the system for their own children.
CT “tyranny aided by civilians” ping
Same here - we keep our daughter out of their broken system.
Partnering with HSLDA and TEACH-CT - ever vigilant.
To paraphrase Charlton Heston: "Keep your hands off my daughter, you damn dirty apes"
We could try just asking the teachers. I’m sure they have a pretty good idea of who has issues by about the second day of school.
“She went on to suggest that mental-health screening should be included in well-child exams at a pediatrician’s office...”
My experiences with pediatricians have been bad enough (like them asking my kids about guns at home when I’m not there). If they started this “mental-health” crap, they simply would not see my kids at all, unless they are very, very, sick.
Like it or not, Dr. Jocelyn Elders is more representative of today’s pediatricians than that nice old man in the white coat.
There is a crisis in the mental health system, and not just for children. (No, school isn’t the answer, but I don’t know what is.)
Three years ago, my daughter had a psychotic break due to a medical condition. When we tried to get her to a shrink (a counselor wasn’t going to cut it, this was much more serious) there was a 3 month waiting list to get an initial appointment. Thankfully, there was a cancellation and they worked her in pretty fast. But had that one person not canceled, I may have a dead daughter right now.
There have been many times when I’ve known people who needed some in-patient care, but they won’t give it to you unless you’re suicidal. And even then, they kick you out a few days later. There is very little follow-up for these people.
For people with *serious* mental health problems, there’s very little that is done.
But the school system is NOT the place to do this. It won’t be the parents initiating the therapy, it’ll be the government and they will be in control. A kid who’s acting out in class (because there is no discipline) would be sent to mental health instead of getting the change of environment that’s needed. This would be the easy out for teachers and the admin.
I would surely like to have the history and professional assessment of Adam Lanza (and his mother’s involvement, too). It’s apparently been covered up, when it should be open for examination by all, if the cost was nearly 30 lives.