CCHR says psychiatrists’ increasing reliance upon involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities and forced mental health treatment has caused a litany of harm and human rights violations. Click here for more information: https://www.cchrint.org/2023/01/23/involuntary-commitment-forced-mental-health-treatment-violate-human-rights/
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International 6616 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028, United States
and Forced Mental Health
Treatment Violate Human
The mental health industry watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights
International says involuntary commitment and forced treatment policies in the
U.S. are unworkable and violate World Health Organization direction to end
coercive psychiatric practices.
Increased use of involuntary commitment is a
measure that states are being advised to take
as a “solution” for everything from violence
prevention to getting displaced persons forced
into institutions. It is a failed, costly, and often
harmful policy, CCHR says.
People subjected to coercive practices report feelings of
dehumanization, disempowerment, and being disrespected, according
to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A 2019 study reported people who felt they were
coerced into being hospitalized against their will were
more likely to attempt suicide after being released. A
2017 JAMA Psychiatry article found the risk of suicide
was 100 times greater than average immediately after
being released from a hospital.
WHO points to a series of United Nations guidelines and Human Rights Council resolutions
that call on countries to tackle the “unlawful or arbitrary institutionalization, overmedication and
treatment practices [in the field of mental health] that fail to respect…autonomy, will and
“We know that delivering those services in a
forced, institutional setting…actually has a very
low success rate. It doesn’t result in people
stabilizing over the long term,” said Anya
Lawler, a policy advocate at the Western
Center on Law and Poverty.
Forcing treatment on individuals or detaining them for longer periods in psychiatric institutions if they are
deemed “violent” adds to the gravy train. Cost estimates for a forced night in a hospital range from $1,100
to more than $3,000—or an annual expense of $400,000 to $1.1 million per person.
Whereas, according to the NYC Independent
Budget Office, on average, emergency
shelters cost $138 a day for single adults, or
more than $5