Friday, April 13, 2007

Treatment reform in Illinois

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on SB 234 in Illinois; a bill that would update the strict treatment standard to provide treatment options for Illinois’ most seriously mentally ill before they are an imminent danger to themselves or others. The Treatment Advocacy Center’s executive director, Mary Zdanowicz was quoted in the article:

We have an obligation to those who are hurting to not withhold treatment.

Studies suggest that, when properly medicated, these folks are no more dangerous than the general population.

New York state data showed significant decreases in homelessness, incarceration and psychiatric hospitalization among people who were ordered into involuntary treatment under Kendra's Law. There were fewer suicide attempts and fewer cases of physically harming others or damaging property.

It's not mental illness that makes them violent, Zdanowicz said. It's untreated symptoms.

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