5 Resources to Stay Up to Date About Mental Health Law
| Staff Writers
5 Sites for Mental Health Legal and Policy News
- Mental Illness Policy Org
- Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Laws
- Citizens Commission on Human Rights
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Mental Health America
There is an outcry from mental health professionals and members of the public for changes to mental illness policies, and by paying attention to news resources about mental health law, it is evident that, while progress is slow, state and local governments across the country are making progress. According to Forbes, some of the focus areas are early intervention programs, criminal justice reform, involuntary commitment laws, increased access to care through insurance reform, and emergency and critical psychiatric care. Some websites for keeping up to date on these issues include the following.
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1. Mental Illness Policy Org
Founded by DJ Jaffe, an advocate for over 30 years, this organization focuses strictly on the severely mentally ill population, not mental health in general. On their site, there is a collection of in-depth articles written by experts on topics including violence and the mentally ill, objective data regarding involuntary treatment, privacy laws, and Supreme Court decisions. The site is updated regularly in response to current events and the publication of new research.
2. Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Laws
This organization provides data and context on issues relating to people with mental disabilities. Their website offers an extensive library of resources including guidelines for advocacy, amicus briefs about mental illness law, notes regarding court cases in which they have been or are currently involved, and webinars. They have regular updates and analysis when mental illness issues are in the news, and the site provides updates about mental illness laws as well as relevant history and context.
3. Citizens Commission on Human Rights
The CCHR began in 1969 and has investigated countless cases of human rights violations related to the mentally ill population globally. Their work centers around ensuring the rights of the psychiatric patient, and they often challenge the medical and pharmaceutical communities. While some of their stances about medications and diagnosis are disputed, the work they do to expose civil rights abuses of the mentally ill and present news related to these issues is important.
4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA is another organization that provides up to date information about mental health legal issues. Through extensive research, their affiliates collect data that is published on their site along with analysis to keep their readers current on new research findings. They have an online newsroom for breaking news coverage along with relevant SAMHSA policy positions as well as a newsletter published directly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
5. Mental Health America
MHA publishes articles and press releases detailing current events and proposed legislation in the mental health field. They focus on providing the whole picture of stories and offer expert testimony to help explain complex subjects and give the history behind different issues. The website features a designated section for journalists and those looking for a clear statement on MHA’s stance on current events.
Optimal treatment of mental illness is an issue that affects not only psychiatric patients and their families but also the general public because many of these issues have societal and behavioral components. It is important for everyone to have a good understanding of the current changes in these areas by regularly reading trustworthy resources about mental health law and policy updates.
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