Massachusetts is one of five states that still don’t have Involuntary Outpatient Laws in place.
But how long will that last?
On July 11, people gathered at the State House in Boston at a hearing to seek community input on several pieces of legislation currently being proposed. These included a proposal from Representative Mathew Muratore to implement Involuntary Outpatient Commitment.
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) is often referred to as ‘Assisted Outpatient Treatment’ or ‘AOT’ in an effort to help it sound more benign, but the truth is that it can include forced drugging, and a number of other terms that people might find invasive or harmful.
Click here for more information on IOC.
Fortunately, more than a dozen advocates and people with first-hand experience had the opportunity to speak out against such measures and in favor of better voluntary supports. For example, Thomas Brown (who works in peer support in a Massachusetts-based organization) testified that,
“What really finally helped more than anything was finding peer support. When I found peer support I stopped wanting to die.”
Click here for a full write up on the hearing.
In the meantime, it’s on our community to not only push back against efforts to bring Involuntary Outpatient Commitment to the state, but to also come together to talk about the alternatives we can help create to help people who are struggling.