- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Delphine Brody
Monday, Apr. 11, 2005 at 3:57 PM
In a move that has angered mental health clients and spurred mounting criticism of voter betrayal, state officials announced Tuesday that counties will likely be allowed to use taxpayer money from recently passed ballot measure Proposition 63 to fund involuntary treatment, including court-ordered outpatient commitment. In response, clients have launched a letter-writing campaign to demand the state reverse its course.
Forced mental health treatment in California may soon be getting a huge boost in funding, using a projected windfall of taxpayer money from recently passed ballot initiative Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). In the months leading up to November's election and during the statewide stakeholder input process that followed, voters and supporters of the MHSA have been told that these funds, an expected 5 million for this year and 0 million for subsequent years, paid for with a one percent state income surtax on incomes of over a million dollars, would only be used for voluntary, community-based services that were client-centered and supported choice, autonomy and self-determination. But when the California Dept. of Mental Health (CA DMH) released its draft plan requirements for county mental health administrators on February 15, they contained a provision that would allow MHSA funds to be used for "involuntary services" if certain criteria were met.
In the month and a half following CA DMH's release of the draft plan requirements, mental health clients throughout the state have spoken out against these provisions at stakeholder meetings, and the California Network of Mental Health Clients (CNMHC) has released a position paper strongly opposing the forced treatment provisions.
Dismissing clients' demands to remove this language, CA DMH Deputy Director Carol Hood announced Tuesday and Wednesday at MHSA stakeholders meetings in Los Angeles and Sacramento that the CA DMH intends to keep the forced treatment provisions in the requirements. Hood went on to say that the agency is preparing a checklist that it will make available to counties interested in using MHSA monies to implement involuntary outpatient commitment law AB 1421 ("Laura's Law"), explaining how to make their proposals "consistent with the MHSA". Laura's Law, which was signed into law two years ago by then-Governor Grey Davis, expands criteria for court-ordered forced treatment, but requires counties to pay for it themselves, which has kept them from implementing forced treatment under the Law, up until now. African Americans and other people of color have been disproportionately subjected to court-ordered forced outpatient treatment in New York State, as shown in a recent study. New York's "Kendra's Law" has been opposed by a coalition of clients, service providers and civil rights lawyers, who are trying to stop NY Governor George Pataki from renewing the law and making it permanent in June.
Mental health clients who had been attending the state-level stakeholder meetings had expressed concern that the CA DMH might not listen to them on this issue. CNMHC members distributed a flyer at last week's meetings to remind the DMH of the MHSA's promise of transforming the system from a "fail-first" model based on force and coercion to a "clients-first" model embracing choice, autonomy, independent living and self-determination. The flyer and position paper were distributed at both the Los Angeles and Sacramento stakeholder meetings. But none were quite prepared for Hood's announcement, which many clients have called a large-scale betrayal of trust.
The 50 or so clients at Wednesday's meeting, many of whom had gathered signatures and campaigned for Prop 63, were devastated at the news. Some left the meeting in despair, while others decried Hood's announcement as a dangerous move away from the promised client-centered, voluntary services toward force, and a huge slap in the face to the many clients and psychiatric survivors who worked tirelessly for two years to support the measure and have been participating in its planning and implementation. At the end of the meeting, clients, family members and advocates at twelve out of perhaps 20 tables in the large room voiced their strong objection to any MHSA funds being permitted for forced treatment. The prevailing mood as stakeholders left was one of shock and dismay; yet many clients were galvanized by a shared desire to take action and stop the proposed plans from taking effect.
The CA DMH has extended its official deadline for public comment to Monday, April 11, but they are not expected to release their final plan requirements to the county mental/behavioral health departments until early to mid-May, so client activists plan to keep the pressure up until then.
The CNMHC has launched an international letter-writing campaign to tell the CA DMH that forced and coercive treatment, far from being transformational, represents a dangerous retreat from the voluntary, community-based, client-centered, culturally competent services and supports that California voters were promised when they voted for Prop 63.
To contact MHSA Staff:
Toll-free voicemail (within California):
(800) 972-MHSA (6472)
By Fax: (916) 653-9194
By Email: email@example.com
California Department of Mental Health
1600 Ninth Street, Room 130
Sacramento, CA 95814
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|OK, so they lied
||Thursday, Apr. 14, 2005 at 5:34 PM
|Prop 63 Promise vs. CA DMH Action
||Friday, Apr. 15, 2005 at 11:19 AM
|"Screening" for Children and Youth
||Friday, Apr. 15, 2005 at 12:07 PM
|More Evelyn Pringle Links
||Friday, Apr. 15, 2005 at 12:15 PM
|To Delphine Brody
||Saturday, Apr. 16, 2005 at 6:50 PM
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens
More Breaking News...