These principles reflect our desire that stigma against people with mental health disabilities ends. We want people to receive voluntary and appropriate services of their choice.
Homelessness is a complex social problem that has many causes including a shortage of affordable housing; lower wages and loss of jobs that lead to eviction; inadequate general assistance and SSI payments; and local land use decisions that limit where shelters and affordable housing may be placed as a result of Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) and other discrimination.
The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) is developing enhanced treatment programs at state psychiatric hospitals. The DSH’s purpose in creating the programs is to provide a secure 24-hour living area for the treatment of physically aggressive patients who are at risk of harming others as a result of their behavior. The DSH treatment and services will be provided in a secure area of the facility where controls, such as locked patient rooms, exist to manage patients’ behavior until they are stabilized and returned to a less secure unit.
In Olmstead v. L.C., the United States Supreme Court held that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is a form of discrimination.
These principles relate to all individuals receiving or at risk of receiving involuntary mental health treatment, whether at a state hospital, a correctional facility, an Institute for Mental Disease (IMD), or in a community setting. Because legislation and regulatory proposals or changes can impact the rights of individuals who may be subject to involuntary mental health treatment, the following principles guide Disability Rights California (DRC) staff’s policy advocacy in this area. See also Principles: Conservatorship of Persons with Disabilities, Pub #1037.
Individuals with mental health disabilities often face stigma and bias because of the false assumption that people with mental health disabilities are dangerous or violent. In fact, millions of adults in the United States have mental health disabilities and live successful, productive lives. Moreover, individuals with mental health disabilities are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.