Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

HELP PREVENT
1.25 million 0 to 3 Year Olds from Being Screened for “Mental Illness” & Put at Risk of Being Drugged

The Australian Productivity Commission, who is responsible for government spending, is conducting an inquiry into mental health.

Their Draft Report contains the alarming proposal to screen very young children aged 0-3 for “mental illnesses” and for “emerging mental illness.”

Psychiatrists cannot predict future mental illness by the use of an arbitrary list of questions.

The recommendations as written in the Draft Report seem innocuous – checking “emotional development”, and of course we all want to see our children healthy. However as one expert pointed out, terms such as “emotional and social well-being” are now used instead of ”mental illness” and mental health terminology, which is a whole different ball game.

The number of toddlers already prescribed potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs is set to greatly increase if this proposal is implemented. Doesn’t Australia already have too many toddlers on drugs that could cause damaging effects to their developing brains and ruin their futures?

Here are some facts you need to know about why this proposal cannot proceed:

  • While medical disease can be screened for and verified, there are no valid tests to confirm any psychiatric diagnosis.
  • The screening questions asked are so subjective that any child could be at risk of being labelled mentally ill and potentially recommended for a prescription of psychiatric drugs.
  • Symptoms for so called psychiatric disorders for 0 to 3 year olds include: difficulty sleeping, crying, tantrums, losing track of a favourite stuffed animal and hyperactivity.

It is proposed that maternal and child nurses in community health services expand the current physical checks being done to include behavioural screening. The nurses will refer for “final diagnosis,” which will also be based on a subjective checklist.

  • In 2007/08, Australia had 201 children under 3 years old on psychiatric drugs, including 53 aged under 1 year old.
  • In 2015, there were 7,817 children aged 2-6 years old on antidepressants, antipsychotics and “ADHD” drugs.

TAKE URGENT ACTION

Contact your Premier, Health Minister and Local MP

Sign Petition

To read more about the proposals: Click here