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Special Event

First Lady Introduces Initiative to Combat Over-Prescription of Preschoolers

Aired March 20, 2000 - 10:48 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Live to the White House, the first lady talking about the issue today, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We will listen quickly.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

HILLARY CLINTON, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: ... for her for her leadership and I'm also pleased she refuses to sit still...

(LAUGHTER)

... because whenever our children's health is at stake, she's out there, working very hard to make sure that we all pay attention.

I also am pleased to be joined not only by Secretary Shalala but by Surgeon General David Satcher and FDA Director Jane Haney and NIMH commissioner Dr. Steve Himan (ph), and Dr. Judith Human (ph), representatives from many of the groups who are on the front-lines working on behalf of all of our children and particularly children with behavioral and emotional challenges.

We just came from a meeting where we talked about what more we can do to ensure that children with emotional and behavioral problems get the diagnosis and treatment they need and when they need it.

Today's meeting and the announcements around it are important steps, but they're certainly not the last step that we need to take in meeting the goal of ensuring that all of our children get the help, and support and treatment that they deserve.

You know, when a child comes to us who is hurt or sick, there is nothing more terrifying for any of us, especially parents, when we don't know how to make it better. If they have a broken arm, we want to fix it. If they have a deadly disease, we want to do everything we possibly can to cure it. And it's no different if the problem they bring to lies in their head or their heart.

Thanks in large part to the leadership of Tipper Gore, the president's mental health adviser, we've come a long way in our battle to bring mental illness out of the shadows and make sure it is treated just as seriously as physical illness.

HEMMER: First lady talking about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the over-prescription for a lot of preschoolers around the country. Initiative today at the White House, Donna Shalala also there with the first lady talking about this issue today.

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