Epic Fail: The Legislation of Involuntary Mental Health Treatment

Last week, Rep. Tim Murphy (PA) introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 to Congress and almost simultaneously mental health and disability rights advocates voiced their opposition to the proposed legislation with a statement from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. The bill, as many people who follow what’s happening in mental health law know, calls for the enactment of assisted (involuntary) outpatient commitment laws at the Federal level and is purportedly crafted to ensure the safety of those deemed “severely mentally ill” by giving families, courts and mental health providers increased authority to commit individuals to outpatient treatment.