Eli Holt said his son's life could have been endangered while some argued that many kids come from homes where they can't seek help.
Eli Holt was confused when a school counselor said his 15-year-old son did not pick up his antidepressants at the end of the school year. He didn't know his son was on antidepressants and he had only just found out. Holt posted a video on TikTok, furious that he hadn't been informed but confirmed it was legal in Washington for his son to seek help without his parents' consent. It sparked a debate on the matter. Holt maintains that he should have been informed while some argued that many children hail from abusive homes or have parents who refuse to take mental health issues seriously, which can affect kids aversely. The video went viral, garnering more than 277k views.
Holt narrated the incident to his followers on TikTok. "I get a call today from the counselor at the high school of Snohomish, Washington. They proceeded to say: 'Your child, 15 years old, did not pick up his antidepressants at the end of the school year'. I said, 'He's not on antidepressants, like, what are you talking about? My kid is not depressed.' They proceeded to tell me that they had a psychiatrist come to the school and give my kid antidepressants, and he's been on them for several months," said Holt.
He was taken aback that he wasn't informed that his son was on medication. "I had no knowledge. I knew nothing about it. I knew nothing. Come to find out. It's 100% like, oh, they could do whatever they want with our kids in Washington State in the school program," he said. The comments section was divided with some siding with Holt while a few others said it was important that kids could seek help by themselves. "Yeaaah, I was one of those kids who saw help from the psychiatrist at my school, and I needed that help, I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my parent," wrote one person. Another wrote, "I’m a teenager in Washington state and I know exactly where he’s coming from, your reaction to this is the reason he hid it in the first place."
In a separate video, he addressed some of the comments that there could be a reason why he wasn't informed. "So number one, if they're giving a child prescription and you're home, you should know, period. Number two, the only time I could see them keeping stuff like that from you is if they believe that there's abuse in the home, sexual abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, any type of abuse, or if they feel the child's at danger, 100%, I would agree with them not telling me," he said.
Holt also argued that it was important to know what medication his child was on, for the sake of his safety. "What if I was allowing him to have a glass of wine at home at dinner? Not that I am, but what if I was? What if he had a heart murmur? What if he was allergic to medications like that? That kid can barely fill out a job application, how is he going to know all his medical history? How's he gonna know all these things?" he asked, before adding that he and his son never had a communication gap like many suggested. "He didn't tell me because I had a really good line of communication with the school, I got the receipts, we were emailing every week because he's on an IEP. I was talking to his case manager. He thought 100% I knew and number four, it's not their kid to give a prescription to so I wholeheartedly believe that they should have told me and it is what it is," he added.
One parent said they had a conversation with their kids after watching the video. "I sat my kids down and had them watch your video and told them I need to know if the school wants to give them meds and I NEED to know," they wrote. Another person disagreed, "Not saying I agree but state law allows 13yo and older to seek mental health services without parental consent. A lot of children need these services."
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