MENTAL HEALTH: House Passes Measure to Screen First Graders
The House approved a measure to add mental health screenings to children's pre-first grade physicals, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Introduced by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), the bill would add questions gathered by an American Academy of Pediatrics task force on preventing violence. AB 2068 recommends that doctors ask children about self esteem, depression, domestic abuse, exposure to violence in the media and access to guns. Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Northridge) objects to questions about gun access: "It's the most frightening intrusion by the state into the family that I can remember. It's the use of children to inform on their neighbors and their family," he said. According to the Academy of Pediatricians, however, "doctors can play a role in violence prevention and can identify children who need mental health treatment." The bill moves to the Senate, and Steinberg said he will work with the bill's opponents to narrow the list of recommended questions (Coleman, 6/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.