January 01, 2006

Mayor of Albequerque Wants Manditory Treatment of Mentally Ill

Associated Press reported this week that the Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) wants mandatory treatment for mentally ill in that city. At schizophrenia.com we believe that this is a step forward if it is properly supported with funding to provide both medicine and psycho-social therapies and other support services..

The story reported that:

"The city would be allowed to seek outpatient treatment for people with mental illness under an ordinance proposed by Mayor Martin Chavez but the plan is drawing criticism.

Under the mayor's proposal, a concerned party could refer a person in need of mental health treatment to a city psychiatric officer. That officer would make a recommendation to the mayor, who would decide whether to seek a court order to require assisted outpatient treatment.

"This will allow government to force an individual with a history of violence to be treated. Only eight states have no such law," the mayor said during a news conference Wednesday.

Rather than waiting for state lawmakers to act, he said he will ask the City Council to pass the measure.

Family members of people with mental illnesses have advocated for such a law because they feel they have no recourse when they see a relative's mental state deteriorating. In most cases, that person isn't forced into treatment until he or she is judged to be a danger to themselves or others....

While having adequate mental health services statewide is a concern, Chavez said the city would put the services in place in Albuquerque. He estimated $1 million could be allocated to support services in connection with his proposal. ...

Chavez's proposal is modeled after Kendra's Law, a New York state law that permits authorities to supervise mental patients who live in communities and make sure that they don't hurt themselves or others and that they take prescribed anti-psychotic medicines. Under the law, caseworkers, family members or roommates can seek a court order to force a mentally ill patient to comply with treatment."

More Information:
Proposed Law Would Force Mentally Ill Patients To Be Treated
Mayor proposes forcing mental illness sufferers into treatment


Forcing anyone to do/believe anything is a bad idea with bad outcomes. Perhaps money/time would be better spent in research than forced treatment of illnesses that we are first just beginning to understand. Just a personal opinion.

Posted by: dennis at January 11, 2006 08:46 AM

realize that Danny would be living in a sewer if he did not have a family that loved hime and did every thing possible to force him into treatment when he threatened his family? The CIT team is something we should be very proud of. I am a Registered Nurse who works in a Long term care Facilit/ who picks up off the floor several times a week those Residents who fall and break their hips or die from a subdural hematoma because some do-gooders or Lawyer suit have outlawed approiate restraints. YES! These Residents rights must come first!! Even when they have not the cognitive ability to understand why we are trying to protect them . Come on People. Is common sense and moderation something tnat has been thrown out the window? Unfortunatly I'm afraid it has. HURRAH FOR MAYOR CHAVEZ,I,ll do any thing I can to help. Ruth Mcginley

Posted by: ruth mcginley at February 23, 2006 05:38 PM

The problem is who makes the decisions about who is competent to make decisions - and unfortunately there is a long list of abuses and conflicts of interest.

Even though there may be legitimate times for restraints, 90% of the time there isn't. Even the example above makes me question whether all that could be done, is being done to prevent accidents. Just 'removing restraints' may comply with the letter of the law, but compassionate treatment would be finding something else that works.

There are reasons that people do not take medications - many times it's not appropiate and no one is willing to find out or correct the problem.

Forced ECT does the same thing is being used like forced lobotomies were. Neither solves a problem.

Forcing treatment on anyone is a poor idea, even if some percieve it's for someone else's 'own good' - it usually isn't.

It's almost always about the needs of the person seeking the treatment.

Posted by: du2vye at July 3, 2006 10:41 PM

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