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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
June 26, 2013

Policies Have Consequences
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — Is another major federal experimental program about to be launched? Recent news releases appear to be laying the groundwork for such an initiative.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), America's foremost governmentally sponsored center for health research, is taking the lead. The CDC's most recent finding was announced by the Child Development Studies Team Leader, Ruth Perou, PhD.

Is it possible that divorce and broken families might be related to anxiety, fear, phobias, and alcohol abuse in children?

   

The CDC tells us: "Nearly 1 in 5 children suffer from mental disorders." Dr. Perou said the number of children with mental health problems has been steadily increasing. This dramatic and tragic finding begs to be addressed. And that is exactly what the CDC and Dr. Perou are hoping comes about.

Dr. Perou is heading the Center's agenda to develop a "national program to promote child health and well-being by recognizing the importance of early identification and early intervention for children with or at-risk for developmental delays, developmental disabilities, and childhood disorders." Cutting through the psycho-babble, Dr. Perou is seeking to "show mental health is a health issue."

In her May 16 interview with Reuters, Dr. Perou announced, "[M]ore research was needed to determine the specific causes of mental disorders, and that greater awareness could lead to an uptick in diagnoses." The CDC wishes to expand research and to advertise the signs of mental disorders in children. These actions, Dr. Perou tells us, will help identify more children in need of mental health services. This is classic bureaucracy building.

The CDC's study "found that the cost of medical bills for treatment of such disorders is up to $247 billion each year." Not surprisingly, it found "more research is needed to determine the specific causes."

Health disorders identified included ADHD, behavioral problems, anxiety, fears, phobias, depression, and alcohol abuse. To add a sense of urgency, the study said untreated mental health disorders lead to the second leading cause of death (after accidents) among children ages 12 to 17 — suicide.

   

Is it possible that single-parent families and the lack of parents present to raise children may have something to do with behavioral problems?

The CDC believes the increase in child mental health problems is caused by a host of environmental factors, including poverty and chemical exposure. It seems the highly educated, mental health professionals have a rather narrow view of "environmental factors."

This writer is not a medical doctor or a mental health expert. However, he does have more than six decades of experience, including raising four children in a heterosexual marriage that has lasted more than 40 years.

There was little divorce 60 years ago. Since then, no-fault divorce has swept the nation. Today, approximately half of all marriages end in divorce. Divorce rips families apart. It is not politically correct to identify divorce as an "environmental impact."

Is it possible that divorce and broken families might be related to anxiety and alcohol abuse in children? Might they be the single biggest factor? Is it possible that single-parent families and the lack of parents present to raise children may have something to do with behavioral problems? Is it possible that the PC drive to normalize homosexual relationships and call them marriages may cause confusion in the minds of children?

Is it possible that the self-satisfaction-at-any-cost attitude and approach to life of the "me generation," the "now generation," and "generation x" may have profound consequences for mental, physical, and emotional health?

 

If America is to survive, it requires a smaller and less intrusive government, the eradication of politically correct initiatives, and a return to traditional families taking care of themselves.

   

Poverty is the never-ending liberal's bogeyman responsible for the majority of problems society suffers. Yet the federal government spends more per household than households spend themselves. Is it possible the tax and regulatory burden imposed by the government impoverishes families? Is it possible these governmental burdens are the major reason both parents in a household work?

America's 50-year war on poverty can officially report one thing — after spending trillions and initiating thousands of programs to reduce poverty, we have more poverty than when the war began.

Can we reverse the decline in the mental health, physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health of individuals, and the disintegration of America's families?

If America is to survive, it requires a smaller and less intrusive government, the eradication of politically correct initiatives, and a return to traditional families taking care of themselves.

There are consequences to the experiments with traditional values and families that have been going on over the past 60 years — and they have been ugly, unenlightening, and anything but positive.

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2013 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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