CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OLD TO BE SCREENED FOR MENTAL ILLNESS & PUT AT RISK OF BEING DRUGGED

Australia already has 99,355 children aged 0-11 on a potentially dangerous psychiatric drug, 2,522 of those aged 0-4 years old. Now there are psychiatric recommendations to screen our 1.8 million children under 5 years of age for mental illness. This is despite the Australian Government having issued 70 psychiatric drug warnings to warn of the risk of agitation, aggression, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, heart problems and possible death. Too often parents are not told of all the side effects at time of prescribing.1

Symptoms of so-called psychiatric disorders for 0-5 year olds include: difficulty sleeping, fidgeting, climbing on furniture or other inappropriate objects, tantrums, temper outbursts, “loses track of things used regularly (eg. losing track of a favourite stuffed animal),” hyperactivity and talks too much.2

We all want our children to be happy and healthy but is putting our very young children at risk of psychiatric drugs the answer?

When New Zealand introduced screening for 4 and 5 year olds, within 4 years prescriptions of antidepressants to 0-4 year olds increased by 140%.3

In May 2021, the Federal Government gave $0.5 million towards a mental health inquiry’s recommendations to screen Australia’s estimated 1.8 million children under 5 years of age for “mental illness” and “emerging mental illness,” (psychiatrists claim they can predict future mental illness by the use of an arbitrary list of questions which is not possible). State and Territory Governments are being asked to fund and implement the screening. The numbers of infants and toddlers on potentially dangerous mind-altering psychiatric drugs is set to greatly increase.4

The recommendations may seem harmless, because of course we all want our children to be healthy, but there are hidden risks. Amongst “wellness” questions, are those relating to “emotional and social well-being”—another name for or a precursor to labelling a child mentally ill. A percentage of very young children will be diagnosed and put at risk of psychiatric drugs.5

As one expert stressed when advising Australia’s federal government, other language for “emotional and social well-being” should be found rather than using mental illness and mental health terminology, this is a whole different ball game.

This same expert also said that despite different language used in the educational and health systems, a diagnosis is often required for the child to receive additional services. He stated that the educational system use “well-being” and the health services system use ‘deficit’, ‘disorder’ [eg. ADHD], and DSM-type diagnoses. (DSM-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the main psychiatric manual used in Australia). Terminology is being changed in an attempt to hide what is really proposed for our infants, toddlers and preschoolers.6

The report where these recommendations came from covers that psychiatric drugs are an option. And that spells out a host of potentially dangerous side effects. It could lead to a lifetime of your child being dependent upon such drugs.7

Where the mental health screening of all children under 5 came from: This latest situation of grave concern for our children has arisen from the final recommendations of Australia’s Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health. The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government’s main review and advisory body on economic policy.

Originally 2 recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Final Report – mental health screening for all “1.25 million 0 to 3 year olds” and all 3 & 4 year olds (an estimated 636,600 children). This “under 5 years old” age group is also called “early childhood” in the recommendations by professionals and governments.

A Freedom of Information Request to the Productivity Commission requesting copies of minutes of meetings held covering these recommendations revealed no such minutes exist.

It is for this psychiatric screening that in May 2021, the Federal Government gave $0.5 million to develop national guidelines so that states and territories can include the screening in “early childhood checks.” This screening is proposed to be added to the existing physical checks already done by maternal and child health nurses.8

Psychiatry has already tried to screen all Australian 3 year olds between 2012 and 2015 with the expansion of a physical check done by GPs to include mental health screening. It was scrapped in 2015 after enormous criticism from professionals and the public. See below for further information.

Prof. Harvey Whiteford was appointed an Associate Commissioner for the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health. He is the psychiatrist who designed and oversaw implementation of Australia’s National Mental Health Strategy (which commenced in 1992). Between 2008 and 2012 alone, his company, Harvey Whiteford Medical PTY LTD, received more than $1.1 million from the Department of Health for providing planning and services for national mental health reform, etc.9

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) which all practicing psychiatrists are members of, have since 2010 falsely told the public and governments that infants experience mental illness despite the fact there is no scientific evidence to prove any child is “mentally ill.” RANZCP have a long history of pharmaceutical company support. Their 2020 Annual Report lists pharmaceutical companies Janssen, Lundbeck, Pfizer and Merk as supporters of their activities.10

The Productivity Commission has said there is no adequate data to assess whether the increased focus on infant emotional wellbeing in the past has had a substantial effect on young children and their families. Despite this complete lack of evidence, it is full steam ahead with the screening recommendations for our infants and toddlers, accompanied with more demands for money.11

Instead of telling the parents and public the truth about relevant issues such as the complete lack of scientific testing behind psychiatric disorders, psychiatry continues to tell us and the government that more funding and more subjective mental health screening will fix what is broken.

If psychiatric “treatments” were working there would be a reduction in children and adults requiring assistance.

What is Mental Health Screening Based on? Screening is the use of a highly subjective checklist in order to diagnose a child or adult with a “mental illness.” Like the final report of the recent mental health inquiry and Australia’s failing National Mental Health Strategy, screening checklists are predominantly based on psychiatry’s main manual used in Australia to diagnose “mental disorders,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).12 From these screenings and subsequent referrals of identified infants, toddlers and children, the result can be a “diagnosis” and a subsequent prescription of stimulants, antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, placing a percentage at risk of ill-health and potentially dangerous side-effects—some even deadly.

With regards to under 5 year olds, “diagnosis” can be made using a checklist based on the DSM or it could also be made using a checklist based on DC:0-5, the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood.
DC 0-5 Cover

This manual references the DSM. A 2018 Australian report stated DC:0-5 is an “alternative for diagnosing infants and young children….” The Australian Association for Infant Mental Health now promotes where training on how to use DC:0-5 can be done.13

Psychiatrists themselves state there are no tests for psychiatric diagnosis (no x-ray, scan, blood or urine test) to determine any infant, child or adult has any psychiatric diagnosis.14

As of July 2021, Medicare use both DSM-IV and DSM-5 and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which funds psychiatric drugs, uses DSM-5.15

Statements in DSM-IV and DSM-5 that show the lack of scientific tests for an “ADHD” diagnosis, one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses given to Australian children include:

      DSM-IV for ADHD: “No laboratory tests, neurological assessments or attentional assessments have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” (pp. 88, 89.)
      DSM-5 for ADHD: “No biological marker is diagnostic for ADHD” (p. 61.)

Numbers of 2-6 year olds on Psychiatric Drugs

In 2015 there were:

  • 4,974 children aged 2-6 years on ADHD drugs,
  • 1,459 children aged 2-6 years on antidepressants
  • 1,384 aged 2-6 on antipsychotics (total of 7,817 children aged 2-6 years).16

And we know by 2019-20 there were a staggering 99,355 children aged 0-11 on a psychiatric drug, 2,522 of those aged 0-4 years old.17

Business man with check boxes.Early Intervention for “Emerging Mental Illness” Means the infant, toddler or child doesn’t have it but they ‘could’ get it in the future. How non-scientific is this? Essentially it is an arbitrary list of behavioural symptoms, which psychiatrists claim can predict the onset of “mental illness.” The psychiatrists can then treat the child to “prevent” the “disorder.” One example of this is “emerging psychosis,” often predicted at age 12-14 years old, and is pushed by Australian psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry. Evidence shows, 82% to 90% will not go on to develop psychosis within a year of diagnosis. Despite this the premise is that they should be treated now.18

Professor Patrick McGorry has stated that mental health disorders can manifest as young as three years of age.19

Prof. McGorry has declared he has received unrestricted grant funding from the following drug companies: Eli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Novartis. He has also declared he has acted as a paid consultant for and has received speaker’s fees and travel reimbursement from all or most of these companies. Plus he has received honoraria for consulting and teaching from Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Roche, Lundbeck, Janssen-Cilag and Astra Zeneca.20

The Productivity Commission has clearly stated that despite spending billions of dollars, countless hours of work by teachers, education professionals, doctors, nurses, specialists on early intervention and prevention measures ─ improvements in the mental health of children and young people have been limited. It further stated, “there is very little information to allow us to determine whether investments in mental health and wellbeing are delivering improvements and what policy initiatives have been effective.”21

Early intervention mental health screenings are a disaster for our infants, toddlers, children and youth.

Every parent deserves to know all the facts so they can give fully informed consent for any treatment proposed for their child.

Who Will do the Screening? It is proposed that maternal and child nurses in community health services will expand existing physical checks to include mental health screening. They will refer the identified child for “final diagnosis” which will again be based on a subjective checklist ─ no scientific tests.22

Depending on the state, the existing physical checks are recommended for the infant/child at: 1-4 weeks old, 6-8 weeks, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2 years, 3 years and 4 years old. So this subjective mental health screening would be done multiple times.23

CCHR’s Letter of Reply to Mental Health Inquiry Commissioner in relation to CCHRs concerns that 1.25 million zero to three year olds are at risk of psychiatric drugs.

Screening of 3 Year Olds was Scrapped in 2015: Psychiatry has already attempted to screen 3 year olds in the past between 2012 and 2015, with the expansion of a physical check called the Healthy Kids Check to include screening for “mental illness” of 3 year olds. The expanded check was trialled at 8 Medicare Locals and scrapped in 2015 due to immense public criticism from the public and professionals.24

Symptoms from this Expanded Healthy Kids Check include: fidgety, easily distracted, acts as if driven by a motor and doesn’t listen to rules. All symptoms of “ADHD.”

Responses at the time from professionals to this 3 year old screening included:

  • Psychiatrist Allen Frances who was the DSM–IV Task Force Chair, said the screening of 3 year olds was “reckless” not evidence based and could lead to an explosion of false diagnoses that would see youngsters overmedicated and labelled with mental illness.25
  • The doctor’s magazine, the Medical Observer conducted a survey of GPs in 2012 and found that two thirds of GPs disagreed with the expanded Healthy Kids Check with a quarter believing it would lead to mis-diagnosis with more psychiatric drugs and a further 41% said the scheme was a waste of money.26
  • Child psychiatrist Dr Jon Jureidini, said he was “relieved,” that the proposal for the 3 year old check had disappeared.27

Despite all of this $0.5 million has been given to write national early childhood mental health guidelines for States and Territories. This means an estimated 636,618 children aged 3 & 4 year olds can be screened for “mental illness” and “emerging mental illness” using the new guidelines and could be put at risk of psychiatric drugs. State and Territory Governments will need to provide funds and implement the screening.28

Early Childhood Education Centres and Schools Being Turned into Mental Health Clinics: The Productivity Commission have said that early childhood education centres and schools act as the gateway for students and families into the mental health system. However, this usurps the role of early childhood education centres and schools: to be places of education, not clinics. Instead, already overworked teachers are being expected to be an adjunct to psychiatry, screening students for mental health problems and to refer them for a diagnosis.29

We already have a serious problem with Australian children being given antidepressants. There were more than 175,000 children and youth under 19 on antidepressants in 2019, a 26% increase in just 4 years, despite the fact they are not approved for children under the age of 18 for depression.30 There were 107,000 children on ADHD drugs in 2017.31

Existing screening checklists for children aged 4 and above include such questions as: has trouble sleeping, wants to be with you more than before, is afraid of new situations, fidgets and squirms, distracted, acts as if driven by a motor, does not listen to rules, avoids schoolwork and homework and refuses to share.32

Increasing Number of Suicides: Since 2008/09 suicides in young people have increased by almost 40%, concurrent with the use of antidepressants increasing approximately 60% in young people.33 Australia’s drug regulatory agency has issued 70 psychiatric drug warnings with 7 of these to warn of the risk of suicidal behaviour with antidepressants, including one for ADHD drug Strattera which is also an antidepressant.34 As previously stated they are not approved for use in children under 18 for depression by the Australian Government.35

Despite all of this and the current Australian drug regulatory agency’s further inquiries into the link between youth suicide and antidepressants, the latest psychiatric plan in May 2021, pushed off on the Australian Government, is to develop new prescribing guidelines for the “appropriate and safe use” of antidepressants in children and youth. There is no “safe use” of antidepressants in children.36

Australia’s Drug Regulatory Agency’s database in January 2019 revealed there have been 140 completed suicides, 326 suicide attempts and 606 reports of suicidal ideation linked to antidepressants.37 While not everyone who is on an antidepressant will commit or attempt suicide, clearly some do.

The Productivity Commission advised that “There has been no significant and sustained reduction in the death rate from suicide over the past decade, despite ongoing efforts to make suicide prevention more effective.”38

New Mental Health Clinics for 0-12 year olds: Adding to the risk for our children is the additional $54.2 million given by the Federal Government for up to 15 of psychiatry’s “Head to Health Kids mental health centres” across Australia for children under 12 years old, including infants and toddlers. These new psychiatric clinics can only result in an increase of young children on potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs.39

Psychiatry’s plan for these “Head to Health Kids mental health centres” is a follow on from a recommendation in the final report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System which recommended 13 reformed “Infant, Child and Family Mental Health and Wellbeing Centres” for Victoria. The Victorian Government gave $138 million for these new centers in the 2021/22 budget.40

Drugs scattered over Australian notes.Conflicts of Interest: Conflicts of interest between psychiatrists, mental health support groups and pharmaceutical companies is an area which drives up the use of psychiatric drugs. Conflicts need to be looked at as a reason for the soaring costs, no results and increasing harm to our children.

No-one who is responsible for advising governments, involved in writing medical guidelines, conducting inquiries or doing anything that affects entire populations with potential conflicts of interest should take part in any advisory activities. Parental and public trust is threatened by a failure to declare conflicts of interest.

Wasted Taxpayer’s Money and No Real Help: For years experts have said there is inadequate or no accountability for the huge amounts of money spent, which was the reason for this inquiry. Spending has increased 68% in the past ten years, now reaching nearly $10.6 billion annually.41

In 2019, the Productivity Commission stated, “Despite the rising expenditure on healthcare, there has been no clear indication that the mental health of the population has improved.” Yet as the solution, it is irrationally proposed that even more funding is the answer to further expand these ineffective programs.42

The continual cry for more funding from psychiatry and any supposed lack thereof is not the cause of the problem. Factually, if psychiatry and its treatments were working there would be a reduction in children and adults requiring assistance. No other sector of society could consistently produce such poor outcomes with taxpayer’s money and expect government handouts to keep increasing, so they can provide even more bad results.

Money given for other areas of medicine show noticeable progress such as improving survival rates for cardiovascular disease over the past 20 years.43

There must be real accountability in the mental health system and real help that returns children and adults to happy and productive lives. When the very science behind psychiatry is wrong and the psychiatric system itself is abusive, no amount of money thrown at it will improve the system.Mum and girls throw leaves up in the air playing with kids in autumn park happy and smiling.

The Real Cost and the Solution: The real cost is not money but destroyed lives, no real help and deaths. Australia’s drug regulatory agency reports as of December 2019, there were 1,907 deaths linked to antidepressants and antipsychotics.44 In February 2021, an article in the Australian Prescriber reported that probably less than 5% of adverse reactions are reported, the number of deaths can only be much higher.45

There is no doubt whatsoever that children and adults get depressed, sad, troubled, anxious or nervous or even act psychotic. The question then is simple ─ is this due to some “mental disease” that can be verified as one would verify cancer or a real medical condition? The answer is no.

Children and adults should be given holistic, humane care that improves their condition. Medical studies have proven that this should include medical tests to determine if the problem is caused by an undiagnosed medical condition.

If a child is exhibiting unwanted behaviour in school, they may be behind and need tutoring or educational basics. The use of phonics and a small dictionary can also assist learning. Some children are very intelligent and gifted and become bored, start to fidget and become a problem as they need a more challenging curriculum. There may also be a lack of interest, the real test is how much attention can a child give to what they like doing?

Medical doctors recommend a good diet, sufficient sleep and exercise.

Facilities should be safe havens where adults and parents of children voluntarily seek help without fear of indefinite incarceration and harmful or terrifying treatment. They need a quiet and safe environment where they can get workable and accountable help for their problems. The existing money spent needs to be re-directed into proven workable solutions.

The solution can’t be more screening or more of the same failing “treatments” and programs.

EXCELLENT GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

There are some excellent recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s Mental Health Inquiry that will protect vulnerable children and adults that need to be be implemented immediately by Federal and State Governments. These include:

  • The Australian Government should require that all mental health prescriptions include a clear and prominent statement saying that clinicians should have discussed possible side effects and proposed evidence based alternatives to psychiatric drugs prior to prescribing. This was proposed to “Start Now” but it has not.46
  • An excellent recommendation for states and territories is that children should be kept separate from adults in psychiatric wards.47
  • In addition, the recommendation that state governments provide free legal assistance to assist with Tribunal Hearings and other hearings for children and adults who are involuntarily detained and being forcibly treated is needed immediately.48

What is occurring now? Funding for implementation of the recommendations to screen our under 5 year olds and other recommendations already agreed to by the Federal Government in May 2021 from the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health Final Report will need to be provided by the states and territories.

Collaboration on funding and implementation for the screening of under 5 year olds and other recommendations already agreed to by the Federal Government is currently being done through a new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (National Agreement). The Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers have, through the National Cabinet, committed to this National Agreement being completed by November 2021.

At the same time the current Federal Parliament Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is continuing their investigation into all the other recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s Mental Health Inquiry.

 

The Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention investigation will also be complete by November 2021.

Read CCHR’s submission to the Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

TAKE ACTION

The Federal Government has given $0.5 million to write national guidelines for mental health screening of children under 5 years old. It is the states and territories who will fund and implement this screening.

Help stop your state or territory government funding and implementing the mental health screening of very young children.

12 Apostles, Victorian CoastPhone, email, write or visit your Premier, Health Minister and local Member of Parliament and:

1 Advise them that while there is no doubt some children do need help, mental health screening of under 5 year olds is not based on science, will put more children at risk of potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs and request they do not support funding or implementation of the screening in Victoria.

2 Advise them of the proposed “Head to Health kids mental health centers” for 0-12 year olds and request they do not support the establishment of them or provide any local state funding for them.

3 Ask them to take action to ensure existing funding in Victoria is re-directed to programs proven to help children and that don’t harm.

The Premier: The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002
Email: daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au Phone: (03) 9651 5000

Leader of the Opposition: The Hon. Matthew Guy MP, Shop 30D, Bulleen Plaza, 101 Manningham Road, Bulleen, VIC 3105 Email: matthew.guy@parliament.vic.gov.au Phone: (03) 9850 7983

The Minister for Health: The Hon Martin Foley MP, Level 22, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Email: minister.health@dhhs.vic.gov.au Phone: (03) 9096 8561

The Minister for Mental Health: The Hon James Merino MP, Level 3, 1 Treasury Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002 Email: james.merlino@parliament.vic.gov.au Phone: (03) 9651 1222

The Opposition Minister for Health and Mental Health: Ms Emma Kealy MP, PO Box 41, Horsham, VIC 3402 Email: emma.kealy@parliament.vic.gov.au Phone: (03) 5382 0097

PLEASE ALSO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT HERE

 

Also email, write, phone or visit the below Federal Members of Parliament

  • Advise them that mental health screening will result in more very young children on psychiatric drugs and request that they do not support funding for the screening and do not support the writing of national guidelines for states and territories so they can add mental health screening onto existing physical health checks.
  • Ask them to take action to ensure existing funding including the $54.2 million allocated for up to 15 “Head to Health kids mental health clinics,” for 0-12 year olds is re-directed to programs proven to help children and that don’t harm.
  • Request they implement the recommendation from the Productivity Commission’s Mental Health Inquiry, to require that all mental health prescriptions include a clear and prominent statement saying that clinicians should have discussed possible side effects and proposed evidence based alternatives to psychiatric drugs prior to prescribing. Advise them this was recommended to “start now” in 2020, but has not.
  • Ask for an inquiry that actually fully investigates all psychiatric treatments including psychiatric drugs as the reason behind Australia’s failing mental health system.

Prime Minister: Hon Scott Morrison, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Emails can only be sent from his website: www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

Opposition Leader: Hon Anthony Albanese, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Phone: 02 6277 4022 • Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Treasurer: Hon Josh Frydenberg, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Phone: 02 6277 7340 • Email: josh.frydenberg.mp@aph.gov.au

Shadow Treasurer: Dr Jim Chalmers, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Phone: 02 6277 4880 • Email: jim.chalmers.mp@aph.gov.au

Minister for Health: Hon Greg Hunt, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Phone: 02 6277 7220 • Email: greg.hunt.mp@aph.gov.au

Shadow Minister for Health: Hon Chris Bowen, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Phone: 02 6277 4822 • Email: chris.bowen.mp@aph.gov.au

Leader of Opposition in Senate: Senator the Hon Penny Wong, PO Box 6237, Halifax St. Adelaide SA 5000 • Phone: 08 8212 8272 • Email: senator.wong@aph.gov.au

Deputy Leader of Opposition in Senate: Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally, PO Box W4, Parramatta Westfield, NSW 2150 • Phone: 02 9891 9139 • Email: senator.keneally@aph.gov.au

You can also contact your local Federal Member of Parliament and local Federal Senator at:

www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/

References

  1. “Number of patients dispensed one or more mental health – related prescriptions, by patient demographic characteristics, 2019-20,” Table PBS.4, Mental Health Services in Australia, 18 May 2021. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia/report-contents/mental-health-related-prescriptions/prescriptions
  2. The DC:0-5 Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood, Zero to Three, 2016, pages, 112, 70, 26, 30, 56.
  3. Imogen Neale, “Ministry hides test’s real purpose,” Stuff, 25 June 2012. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7160837/Ministry-hides-tests-real-purpose
  4. “Historic $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan,” joint media release, Department of Health, 11 May 2021. https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/historic-23-billion-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan
  5. “Paediatric Symptom Checklist,” Beyond Blue, on their website page titled, “Child Mental Health Checklist,” for kids aged 4 to 16. https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/age-6-12/mental-health-conditions-in-children/child-mental-health-checklist
  6. Simone Darling, Frank Oberklaid, “Child mental health: building a shared language,” Insight, 16 Sept 2019. https://insightplus.mja.com.au/2019/36/child-mental-health-building-a-shared-language/
  7. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report Overview, Vol. 1, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 204. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report
  8. For 0-3 year olds: Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report Overview, Vol. 1, 30 June 2020, p. 20 and p.11. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft and also in Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Overview & Recommendations, October 2019, p.11. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report For 3 & 4 year olds: Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Vol. 2, pages 203, 204. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report#fs2Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, October 2019, pages. 657, 658, 663. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draftProductivity Commission Inquiry Report, Actions and Findings, No. 95, 30 June 2020, Action 5.2, p. 6. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report AND the Federal Government’s response to the Final Report of the Productivity Commission Final Report titled, Prevention Compassion Care, National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, “SUMMARY OF GOVERNMENT ACTION, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, [number 5 is their response to Action 5 including Action 5.2, in Productivity Commission Final Report], Australian Government, p.25. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/05/the-australian-government-s-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan.pdf
  9. Contract Notice ID numbers: CN99216, CN824891, CN415063, CN348304, CN205813, CN445908, CN41201, Aus Tender, Australian Government. https://www.tenders.gov.au/Search/KeywordSearch?keyword=Harvey+Whiteford
  10. 2020 Financial Report, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, year ended 31 December 2020, p.10. https://www.ranzcp.org/files/about_us/annual-reports-and-strategy/ranzcp-financial-report-2019-2020.aspx; “The prevention and early intervention of mental illness in infants, children and adolescents,” Position Statement 63, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, October 2010. https://www.ranzcp.org/news-policy/policy-and-advocacy/position-statements/prevention-early-intervention-mental-illness-child
  11. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, October 2019, pgs. 653. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  12. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Volume 1, No. 95, 30 June 2020, released on 16 November 2020, pages 101, 121 & p. 763 for “APA 2013” reference. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report#fs2; Australian Government Productivity Commission, Mental Health Productivity Commission Inquiry Draft Report, Vol 1, p.124, 147, 149, 150 & p. 1164, Vol 2, “APA 2013” reference, October 2019. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft/mental-health-draft-volume1.pdf and https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft/mental-health-draft-volume2.pdf
  13. Diagnosis in child mental health, Exploring the benefits, risks and alternatives, Australian Government, Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018, p. 5, https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/sites/default/files/publication-documents/1805_cfca_diagnosis_in_child_mental_health.pdf; Australian Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMH), Infant Mental Health Training Information, accessed 16 Feb 2021, https://www.aaimh.org.au/branches/wa/imh-training-info/
  14. Examples of no tests include: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, pages 88 , 89, 305; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, pages.61, 101.
  15. Examples of DSM usage: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, atomoxetine entry (Strattera), click on “Authority Required (Streamlined),” http://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/9094P; Australian Government, Department of Health, 9 July, 2021. Medicare Benefits Schedule entry for psychiatric attendance (item 319), AN.0.31, & AN.36.1 MBS Online, Australian Government, Department of Health, 9 July, 2021 http://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/fullDisplay.cfm?type=note&q=AN.0.31&qt=noteID&criteria=DSM%20IVhttp://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/fullDisplay.cfm?type=item&q=90250&qt=item&criteria=90250http://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/fullDisplay.cfm?type=note&q=AN.0.31&qt=noteID&criteria=AN%2E0%2E31
  16. “Report 3A, Number of Unique Patients by Patient Age Group and Patient State for Requested ADHD Items Supplied from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015,” Request Number – MI5329, Department of Human Services, Strategic Information Division, Information Services Branch, 27 May 2016. https://cchr.org.au/ptanegul/2016/08/Numbers-on-ADHD-Drugs-30-May-2016.pdf; “Report 1A, Number of Unique Patients by Patient Age Group and Patient State for Requested Antidepressant Items Supplied from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015,” Request Number – MI5329, Department of Human Services, Strategic Information Division, Information Services Branch, 27 May 2016. https://cchr.org.au/ptanegul/2016/08/Numbers-on-Antidepressants-30-May-2016.pdf; Report 2A, Number of Unique Patients by Patient Age Group and Patient State for Requested Antipsychotics Items Supplied from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015,” Request Number – MI5329, Department of Human Services, Strategic Information Division, Information Services Branch, 27 May 2016. https://cchr.org.au/ptanegul/2016/08/Numbers-on-Antipsychotics-30-May-2016.pdf
  17. “Table PBS.4: Number of patients dispensed one or more mental health–related prescriptions, by patient demographic characteristics, 2019-20,” Mental Health Services in Australia, 18 May 2021. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia/report-contents/mental-health-related-prescriptions/prescriptions
  18. “Evidence Summary: Identification of young people at risk of developing psychosis,” Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, 2015. p.4. https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/Evidence-Summary-Identification-of-Young-People-at-Risk-Developing-Psychosis.pdf
  19. “Mental health testing planned for three-year-olds as part of early intervention program,” The Courier Mail, 13 May 2011. https://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/mental-health-testing-planned-for-three-year-olds-as-part-of-early-intervention-program/news-story/737dd8e15424a47692d4ab256f1ee570
  20. Patrick D. McGorry, “Early intervention in psychosis,” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, May 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4414340/; Patrick D. McGorry, “Is early intervention in the major psychiatric disorders justified? Yes,” British Medical Journal, 4 Aug. 2008. https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a695.full
  21. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, October 2019 pgs. 650, 693. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  22. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Vol. 2, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 203, 204. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report
  23. “My personal health record,” NSW Ministry of Health, 2019, p. 3. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/MCFhealth/Publications/blue-book.pdf “Queensland Health, Personal Health Record, Queensland Government,” p.25, 27, 29, 30, 33, 34, 37, 38, 41, 42, 45, 46. https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/chq/information-for-families/personal-health-record/
  24. Karyn E Alexander and Danielle Mazza, “Scrapping the Healthy Kids Check: a lost opportunity, MJA, Volume 203, Issue 8, 19 Oct. 2015. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/203/8/scrapping-healthy-kids-check-lost-opportunityProductivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Vol. 2, p. 204; Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, pgs. 657 & 656. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft/mental-health-draft-volume1.pdf and https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft/mental-health-draft-volume2.pdf
  25. Sue Dunlevy, “Child health check ‘is reckless,’” The Australian, 12 June 2012, p.2.
  26. Neil Bramwell, “Two-thirds of GP’s disagree with well-being check,” Medical Observer, 18 Sept. 2012.
  27. Sarah Colyer, “Axing kids check retrograde,” MJA Insight, 19 October 2015.
  28. “Historic $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan,” joint media release, Department of Health, 11 May 2021. https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/historic-23-billion-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 31010DO002_201906 Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2019, Table 7 Estimated resident population, by age and sex – at 30 June 2018. https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3101.0Jun%202019?OpenDocumentProductivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Vol. 2, pgs. 203, 204, 205, 206 https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report; Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, p. 658. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  29. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Vol. 1, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 206 https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report; Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 2, October 2019, pgs. 662, 659. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  30. “Antidepressant utilisation and risk of suicide in young people, Safety investigation Version 1.0,” Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, p. 48, December 2020. https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/antidepressant-utilisation-and-risk-suicide-young-people.docx
  31. Dr Bernie Towler Commonwealth’s Principal Medical Adviser, testimony to United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, 12.30 minutes on UN video of testimony, 10 Sept. 2019. https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1z/k1zll553lf
  32. “Paediatric Symptom Checklist,” Beyond Blue, on their website page titled, “Child Mental Health Checklist,” for kids aged 4 to 16, https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/age-6-12/mental-health-conditions-in-children/child-mental-health-checklist; “Connors 3rd Edition, Connors 3-Teacher Assessment Report,” C Keith Connors, using DSM-5, 2014, p. 5. https://paa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Conners-3-Teacher-Assessment-Report.pdf
  33. Sue Dunlevy, “Happy drugs in link with Suicide,” Courier Mail, 2 June 2019, p. 5; Dr Martin Whitely, Dr Melissa Raven, “More young Australians suicide/self-harm and use antidepressants while experts dismiss FDA warning,” PsychWatch Australia, 1 June 2019, https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/post/more-young-australians-suicide-self-harm-and-use-antidepressants-while-experts-dismiss-fda-warning
  34. Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Administration, Medicines Safety Update, “Medicines associated with a risk of neuropsychiatric adverse events,” Volume 9, Number 2, June 2008; Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Administration, Medicines Safety Update, “Antidepressants – Communicating risks and benefits to patients,” Volume 7, Number 5, October-December 2016; Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Administration, Medicines Safety Update, “Atomoxetine and suicidality in children and adolescents,” Volume 4, Number 5, October 2013; “Australian ADHD drug warnings are already in place: TGA,” AAP Newswire 22 February, 2007; “Suicidality with SSRIs: adults and children,” The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 4, August 2005; “Use of SSRI antidepressants in children and adolescents” The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin, Vol. 23, No. 6, August 2004; “Warnings for high dose tricyclic antidepressants,” The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin, Vol. 23, No. 5, October 2004.
  35. “Suicidality with SSRIs: adults and children,” The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 4, August 2005.
  36. Antidepressant utilisation and risk of suicide in young people,” Therapeutic Goods Administration, 9 December 2020. https://www.tga/gov.au/alert/antidepressant-utilisation-and-risk-of-suicide-young-peopleProductivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Final Report, Actions and Findings, 16 Nov 2020, p. 21. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report; AND the Federal Governments response to the Final Report of the Productivity Commission Final Report titled, Prevention Compassion Care, National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, “SUMMARY OF GOVERNMENT ACTION, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, [number 10 is their response to Action 10 including Action 10.2, in Productivity Commission Final Report], Australian Government, p.27. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/05/the-australian-government-s-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan.pdf
  37. Therapeutic Goods Administration Database of Adverse Event Notifications-Medicines, List of reports generated for each antidepressant & antipsychotic, as of December 2019 and added manually. https://www.tga.gov.au/database-adverse-event-notifications-daen
  38. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Draft Report, Vol. 1, p. 14. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  39. “Historic $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan,” joint media release, Department of Health, 11 May 2021. https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/historic-23-billion-national-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-plan
  40. Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, Final Report, Summary and recommendations, Feb 2021, p.20. https://finalreport.rcvmhs.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/RCVMHS_FinalReport_ExecSummary_Accessible.pdf; “Help for children and young people,” Victorian Budget 21/22. https://www.budget.vic.gov.au/help-children-and-young-people
  41. “2012 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012, p. 23; “2013 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013, p. 28; “2014 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014, p. 18; “2015 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015, p. 18; “2016 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016, p. 24; “2017 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017, p. 25; “2018 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018, p. 29; 2019 Mental Health Services in Brief,” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019, p. 30; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Mental health services in Australia. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 23 September 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia; “Mental Health services in Australia: Expenditure on mental health services, Table EXP.34: Expenditure ($ million) on mental health services, by source of funding, 1192-93 to 2018-19, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 29 Jan 2021. Download spreadsheet under blue bar graph. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia/report-contents/expenditure-on-mental-health-related-services
  42. Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Draft Report, Vol. 1, October 2019, p. 9. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/draft
  43. Cardiovascular disease: most deaths and highest costs, but situation improving, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/2011/2011-mar/cardiovascular-disease-most-deaths-and-highest-co
  44. Therapeutic Goods Administration Database of Adverse Event Notifications-Medicines, List of reports generated for each antidepressant, as of 05/03/2020 and added manually. https://www.tga.gov.au/database-adverse-event-notifications-daen; Therapeutic Goods Administration Database of Adverse Event Notifications-Medicines, List of reports generated for each antipsychotic, as of 05/03/2020 and added manually. https://www.tga.gov.au/database-adverse-event-notifications-daen
  45. Martin JH, Lucas C, Editorial: “Reporting adverse drug events to the Therapeutic Goods Administration”, Australian Prescriber, Issue 1, February, https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/reporting-adverse-drug-events-to-the-therapeutic-goods-administration
  46. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Actions and Findings, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 21. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report
  47. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Actions and Findings, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 47. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report
  48. Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Final Report, Actions and Findings, No. 95, 30 June 2020, p. 53. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report