Assisted outpatient treatment; establishes program for severely mentally ill. (SB808)

Introduced By

Sen. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Mental health; assisted outpatient treatment. Establishes a program of assisted outpatient treatment for the severely mentally ill. The bill authorizes assisted outpatient treatment only for persons previously hospitalized due to noncompliance with prescribed psychiatric treatment. The bill requires that a specific written treatment plan be prepared by the community services board that gives consideration to the treatment preferences of the individual and explicitly bars the forcible administration of medication. The bill also authorizes law-enforcement personnel to transport the individual to a treatment facility for evaluation by a treatment provider and to ensure compliance with the treatment order only when the individual has substantially failed to comply with the treatment plan without good cause, and only for a 48-hour period, including transportation time. The bill limits the duration of the court order to 180 days or less, and provides the person with procedural protections, including the right to an adversary hearing, the right to counsel, the right to an appeal, and the right to a jury trial on appeal. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/03/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 072415756
01/03/2007Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/18/2007Rereferred to Courts of Justice
01/22/2007Assigned Courts sub: Involuntary Commitment


Alison Hymes writes:

Although the summary says that this bill bars forcible administration of medication, if one reads the entire bill, it does not and in reality, CSB's and others can always obtain a judicial authorization of treatment on top of the outpatient commitment. This bill lacks the protections even of Kendra's Law in New York which has proven to be used mostly on minorities, this bill does not require that the person forced to undergo "treatment" be proven incompetent or to lack capacity to give informed consent for treatment, it could and will be applied to anyone who has ever had a psychiatric diagnosis and disagreed with their psychiatrist's treatment plan.

With no money in the MH system in this state for voluntary treatment of people who are seeking help, this bill will push all those folks who want treatment of their own volition to the back of an already too long line waiting for services and cause more hardships and exacerbation of illness for people who want help while driving people who already distrust the mental health system due to past bad experiences, farther and farther away from willingness to seek treatment for fear of ending up with no choice and no liberty.

This bill is based on unconscious prejudice against people with psychiatric illness and the mistaken belief that people with psychiatric illness are more non-compliant with medication than the rest of the population and/or that the only reason people don't take medication or accept treatment is "lack of insight" rather than horrible side effects of medications and lack of quality, user-friendly treatment choices in our mental health system.

We are already dying much younger than the general population due to the overuse of psychotropic drugs. This bill, if passed, will increase the mortality of people with serious mental illness. It does not protect us as it apparently is intended to do, it will end up injuring and killing us, not to mention taking away our equal rights to decide what to do with our own minds and bodies and stigmatizing us even further in a society that already deems us as less than other citizens.

Alison Hymes writes:

01/24/07 Senate: Passed by indefinitely in Courts of Justice (10-Y 4-N)

Thank you to all ten who voted against this bill!