Mental Health ‘Industry’ Issues Outlined in New Book About Forced Treatment in North America


From Ashland Source: “A Canadian investigative journalist and author shining a light on a ‘chaotic’ mental health system in North America read from his new book at Ashland [OH] Public Library on Tuesday.

Rob Wipond, author of Your Consent Is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric Detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships, shared stories of people he’s interviewed over the years who have experienced forced treatment after utilizing the 988 hotline.

. . . He read about David, a veteran from New York, who after calling the hotline one day from work was then transported by police against his will to a veterans hospital — all because the person he talked to on the hotline believed David was suicidal. He wasn’t.

Wipond also read about Holly, a law student. In 2018, she had moved to Ohio after leaving an abusive relationship. With no health insurance and no one to talk to, she called the hotline because she was feeling depressed. Wipond said Holly described the call as awkward. The call attendant, he said, was reading from a suicide screening questionnaire without Holly’s knowledge.

‘The call attendant suggested Holly go immediately to a psychiatric hospital, but Holly said she had a class soon. The attendant wanted to send police out. When Holly said that was unnecessary, the call attendant replied, “the police can determine that,”‘ Wipond said.

According to Wipond, police and an ambulance showed up to Holly’s location 15 minutes later. The destination? A psychiatric hospital, where Holly stayed for 12 hours in a small room and a doctor later diagnosed her with bipolar disorder. She was discharged two weeks later and eventually hit with a $50,000 bill that she negotiated down to $20,000 and a 10-year payment plan.

Wipond said he shared the anecdotes to highlight the chaos in which the mental health industry operates.

‘It is an industry — and it needs to be understood in that way,’ Wipond said. ‘I think if we talked about it more like that, we’d actually be closer to understanding some of the main mechanisms that are at work.'”

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