Friday, February 08, 2008

Treatment laws vary by state

The publicity of Britney Spears’ recent involuntary hospitalization and subsequent release is raising awareness about involuntary treatment laws.

Since treatment laws vary from state to state a person receiving involuntary treatment in California may or may not qualify for treatment in another state.

Fortunately for the citizens of Illinois a new treatment law that goes into affect this summer will help people with severe mental illnesses get treatment before they reach crisis levels.

“It offers the hope of getting a loved one with mental illness into treatment,” said Lora Thomas, executive director of Illinois’ National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Illinois can no longer retain the right for people to remain dangerously ill. It means no one needs to hit bottom.”

For mentally ill people, a hospital stay can relieve or avert a crisis, Hays said.

“I know we have saved innumerable lives by getting people into the hospital and turning their lives in a different direction,” Hays said.

Starting this summer the citizens of Illinois won’t have to wait for crisis to get treatment for a severe mental illness.

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