The House has passed a forced treatment law — speak up so that the Senate may stop this

The bill rushed through the House of Representatives by voice vote yesterday to patch Medicare regulations includes a highly controversial provision that has nothing to do with Medicare, and that would subject people in crisis to forced treatment. Studies have shown that such force causes trauma and drives people away from treatment, mental health advocates warned. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Standard psychiatric care is coercive (yes, the United Nations calls forced treatment torture)

As a person who has experienced involuntary commitments, seclusion, restraints, forced medication, and intentional humiliation as part of my “mental health” treatment, I am still working through the severe and persistent effects of force and coercion. Being in relational dynamics in which I had no voice and in which I was not treated as a human being with viable thoughts and legitimate feelings impacted my sense of self in ways that were incredibly destructive.

I didn’t have a word for it when it was happening. Torture was something that happened to prisoners of war in faraway places and in terrible movies.

It was not something that happened to young Americans in modern hospitals. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Forced treatment does not work (Lancet reports on a study)


In well coordinated mental health services the imposition of compulsory supervision does not reduce the rate of readmission of psychotic patients. We found no support in terms of any reduction in overall hospital admission to justify the significant curtailment of patients’ personal liberty. … [click on title to read the rest]

Forced treatment isn’t the answer

In America, whether it comes to tackling crime, or the most severe mental illness, there’s a popular sentiment that says the best solution is to “lock ‘em up and throw away the keys.” That’s part of the reason this country has a higher incarceration rate than any other. A knee-jerk response to the Newtown massacre is likely to be a push to reduce legal obstacles to involuntary treatment.

Forced Psychotropic Drugs, Assertive Community Treatment, (in-home forced treatment)

This is happening more and more all over the world — forcing medication on people. I think it’s hard for people who have voluntarily agreed to take psychiatric drugs to understand what an atrocious reality this can be for those people who are forced to take the drugs. Some people may have relatively positive associations with their own experience of psychiatric drugs, but that is simply not everyone’s experience and this phenomena of forced drugging is, indeed, a human rights violation.

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