Our “friends” at NAMI Ohio took the occasion of so-called “Mental Illness Awareness Week” to try and drum up support for their efforts to loosen criteria for involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) laws in Ohio.
I would encourage those interested to do so, particularly those in Ohio, to contact Ohio legislators as NAMI suggest, but encourage them to vote DOWN any changes to the current law. Remind them that anosognosia is deliberately being mis-applied by NAMI Ohio and their Treatment Advocacy Center puppeteers.
Below is the exact letter sent by NAMI Ohio to thousands of families, policy makers, legislators, individuals, etc.
|NAMI OhioPhone: 614-224-2700 / 800-686-2646 Email: [email protected]Website: http://www.namiohio.org|
|October 9, 2012Dear Mental Health Advocate,In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 7 – 13), NAMI Ohio would like to offer a suggestion on how you can make a difference in the lives of many individuals with untreated serious and persistent mental illness. Please consider sending a letter to your State Senator urging him or her to support S.B. 350 to clarify Ohio’s court ordered outpatient treatment statute. Below is a sample letter. To locate the name, address and e-mail for your state senator, simply click here and enter your zip code. http://www.ohiosenate.gov/map.html. For additional information on S.B. 350, go to www.namiohio.org (2nd entry on home page).Thank you for your help in getting this important piece of legislation passed in Ohio.Your Friends at NAMI Ohio
The Honorable _________________
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Senator ____________:
I am writing to urge you to support S.B. 350, a bill to clarify Ohio’s court ordered outpatient treatment law, thus eliminating any question about whether a probate court judge has the authority to order certain individuals with serious and persistent mental illness into outpatient treatment.
This bill would give judges clear authority to step in before someone with a serious mental illness who is unaware of his or her need for treatment becomes so ill that hospitalization or incarceration are the only options remaining. Lack of awareness of illness – a neurological syndrome called anosognosia – is believed to be the single largest reason why individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not follow through with treatment. In many cases, such individuals can be persuaded with a court order to follow their treatment plan. This is commonly referred to as the “black robe effect.”
Court ordered outpatient treatment is not the answer for everyone who meets the criteria, but for some it could mean the difference between life and death. This bill simply removes any question on the part of judges that they have a tool available to use when there is clear and convincing evidence that without treatment, the individual will likely become an imminent threat to themselves or others and end up in the hospital, jail, or worse… dead.
This issue is very important to me and my family because… [Please include a SHORT summary about how you and your family have been impacted by mental illness.]
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to hearing your position on S.B. 350.
City, State, Zip
Telephone Number and E-mail address
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.