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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 8, 2013 at 7:29 AM

Boarding the mentally ill

Involuntary commitment should be last resort

The article about boarding the mentally ill sheds light on a huge social injustice done to people whom are being involuntarily committed for a mental illness. [“Boarding mentally ill becoming epidemic,” page one, Oct. 6].

The ethics of having someone involuntarily committed raises questions about basic human rights and freedom, as well as whether law-enforcement officers are qualified to decide when someone should be involuntarily committed.

The practice of “warehousing” is denying people with mental illness their basic right of being treated with decency. Involuntary commitment should be the last resort of first responders and every involuntary case should be treated with the utmost urgency.

If law enforcement plans to continue to use involuntary commitment, then adequate funding for facilities is crucial. Additionally, funding should be allocated to law-enforcement officers to be trained in identifying people with high-risk mental-health issues who need immediate care versus people who can be de-escalated on the scene and returned to a safe environment.

Jamie Lee, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Mental illness | Topics: mental illness

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