Cary News: Opinion

Martha Brock: No help at all for mentally ill

No help at all for mentally ill

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act flies in the face of the federal government’s efforts to promote community integration for persons with disabilities, and its provisions would send mental health systems decades backward.

H.R. 3717’s provisions would:

• Virtually eliminate the main system of legal representation for Americans with psychiatric disabilities through the “PAIMI” protection and advocacy system.

• Strip away privacy rights (HIPAA) for Americans with psychiatric disabilities and other mental disabilities.

• Create incentives for needless hospitalization and civil rights violations by increasing use of involuntary commitment of mental health clients in N.C.

• Redirect federal funds from effective, voluntary community services to high-cost, involuntary treatment, including outpatient commitment.

Contrary to the claims in the Aug. 12 News & Observer letter “Mentally ill help,” Rep. Tim Murphy’s bill is not a good bill, and that is why the leadership of the House and Committee Chairman Fred Upton have yet to act on the bill.

Martha Brock