“Don’t Coerce the Mentally Ill into Treatment”


Republican Tim Murphy should be lauded for bringing attention to important issues through his proposed legislation, but he “has it wrong when it comes to one of his most prominent prescriptions for fixing our broken mental health care systems,” writes MIA Blogger Leah Harris in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

“The Murphy proposal — included in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act — pressures states to divert more than $130 million to expand the use of ‘involuntary outpatient commitment’ court orders that serve only to force people into the same service approaches that have already failed to help them,” writes Harris. “Why not focus instead on providing an upfront investment in voluntary housing and support services that are proven to work?”

Don’t coerce the mentally ill into treatment (Pittsburg Post-Gazette, September 10, 2014)


  1. The government should divert that money to helping people without a need for mental health care. Help the poor, give: free housing, food, health care, education including college, and guarantee to leisure and base income. This is what poor people need, and it prevents crime , crisis, suffering, delinquency, .. Our government is choosing the paths to imprison the poor in coercive psychiatric facilities and prisons rather than take care of people and provide each citizen the means for them to do so. Seriously the most needy people will be the ones forced into these programs, unable to get help before they got put into a strictly mental health focused system. A life of deprivement and shit struggles leads people down the path to appearing mentally ill, but not truly being mentally ill. .


    Report comment

  2. “Why not focus instead on providing an upfront investment in voluntary housing and support services that are proven to work?”
    Because there’s no money in it for pharma and other sponsors of politicians.

    “Because, you see, the government is not your nanny; they’re your dealer. And they’ve subsidized illness in this country. They have to, there’s too much money in it. You see, there’s no money in healthy people, and there’s no money in dead people. The money is in the middle: people who are alive, sort of, but with one or more chronic conditions that puts them in need of Celebrex, or Nasinex, or Valtrex, or Lunesta. Fifty years ago, children didn’t even get Type-2 diabetes. Now it’s an emerging epidemic, as are a long list of ailments that used to be rare, and have now been…mainstreamed. Things like asthma, and autism, and acid reflux, and arthritis, allergies, adult acne, attention deficit disorder. And that’s just the A’s. Doesn’t anybody wonder why we live with all this illness? ” Bill Maher

    Report comment

  3. The Republican wants to put fear into people because mental health is a liberal phenomenon to them. He knows well enough that it will have a backlash involuntarily committing people, and create stigmas. Mentally ill people come in all types, and they hate involuntarily commitments just like the stigma attached to it created by society of ‘locking them in the mad house’. Voluntary help is the way to go, but conservatives with power generally have nefarious intents when going up against the liberal establishment.

    Report comment

    • I think we are getting hit by ideology on both sides. The conservatives have a streak for fear-mongering (dangerous mentally ill) and the progressives believe in helping people even if it’s against their will. Either way these attitudes are easily manipulated into believing that forced psychiatry is there to solve a problem and good doctors know what to do so you just give them the power and trusts them to use it wisely, which we all know is never a good idea.

      Report comment