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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7140

Mr VAN MANEN (Forde) (19:15): My question is to the minister and has to do with the recent discussion and publicity around the Healthy Kids Check program, which from 1 January 2013 will start looking for signs of mental illness in three-year-olds. I refer to an email I received from one of my constituents, Deanna Pitchford, a clinical psychologist. She writes to voice her dismay at the proposal for assessing three-year-olds for mental health disorders, saying, 'Not only is there no evidence to suggest that you can accurately diagnose mental health disorders at an early age, but this process carries significant risks of labelling children with normal developmental difficulties as disorders for the rest of their lives.' She wishes to register her disapproval. My question to the minister is in two parts. Firstly, will three- and four-year-old children be required to undergo psychological assessments under the Healthy Kids Check program? Secondly, if a child is referred by a GP to a psychologist under the program, will the parents have their income support payments suspended if the child does not see the psychologist?