Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania has been promoting some version of the ‘Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis’ Act for some years. His most recent version was released in June, and although somewhat toned down, it continues to push forced treatment, decreased privacy rights, diminished access to advocates and more.
Following not far behind, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut (along with Senator Bill Cassidy) released a Senate version in early August. This version, called the ‘Mental Health Reform Act of 2015,’ is different in spots but often identical to the House Bill.
Both threaten our movement in a multitude of ways including (but not limited to):
- Expanding forced treatment in the form of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (often referred to as ‘Assisted Outpatient Treatment’ or AOT)
- Seeking to control and limit the ability of people working in peer roles
- Seeking to reduce or eliminate funding for anything that is not considered ‘evidence based’ (a status that can be challenging to come by for anyone offering an alternative approach)
- Seeking to exclude the voice of individuals for whom the mental health system has not worked effectively by using language that requires peer specialists and others speaking from personal experience to have been in ‘active treatment for the last two years,’ etc.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get informed
and take action to STOP THE MURPHY BILLS!
Murphy Bill Resources:
Blog: “The Murphys Have Their Way With Words“ by Sera Davidow
Website: RLC’s Stop the Murphy Bills
More resources and ways to take action are available at each of the websites listed above!