Author: Justin Mckibben
Mental health disorders, along with substance abuse and addiction, are increasingly ubiquitous among the population of the United States of America. Every day people are sick, suffering and dying due to untreated issues with mental health or drug use, and every day there are dedicated and compassionate individuals fighting to make a difference, but still too many are turning away from those who need help. Not because of cruelty, but because of stigma or lack of understanding the problem.
The National Council for Behavioral Health is hoping to break this cycle of misunderstanding, misinformation and untreated illness by changing the way mental health treatment works in America. The council has officially announced the launch of a new campaign, “Be 1 in a Million,” which was created in order to try and train 1 million people in Mental Health First Aid.
American Mental Health
According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, one in four Americans will suffer from a mental illness or addiction every year. Recent studies have shown that more youth are becoming depressed.
- There was a 1.2% increase in youth with depression
- 3% increase in youth with severe depression between 2010 and 2013
Even more troubling then some of the most daunting statistics about the state of mental health in America is the deplorable rates at which people with serious disorders are going untreated. According to Mental Health America:
- Nationally, 57% of adults with mental illness receive no treatment
- In some states (Nevada and Hawaii), nearly 70% of adults with mental illness receive no treatment
- 64% of youth with depression do not receive any treatment
- Among youths with severe depression, 63% do not receive any outpatient services
Experts say that because of the lack of treatment, for those who struggle with a mental health disorder symptoms and impairment are likely to exacerbate over time, leading individuals to experience significant deterioration in quality of life.
New Mental Health Training Movement
The purpose of this new campaign for Mental Health First Aid training is to help fund scholarships for instructors who specialize in mental health and substance use, and provide grants to help instructors target more vulnerable US populations such as:
Thus far the National Council has already made a $1 million contribution to the campaign, which also received more than $15 million from Congress.
The crusade to combat mental health disorders has rallied the efforts of more than 500,000 people, including the First Lady Michelle Obama, trying to improve on the ways in which we identify someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance abuse problem and how to encourage them to seek help.
To make a more pungent point on the prevalence of mental health issues Laira Roth, project manager for the National Council for Behavioral Health’s first aid course stated that compared to someone with a physical medical emergency,
“The truth of the matter is that you are more likely to encounter someone who is experiencing a behavioral health condition or crisis”
All over America various organizations have made a compassionate and resolute commitment to training people in Mental Health First Aid in the coming year. Bill DeBlasio, the Mayor of New York City, has pledged to train 250,000 New Yorkers for Mental Health First Aid, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held more than 100 training sessions already this last year.
Making a Move for First Aid
The National Council for Behavioral Health is adamantly urging every American to get trained in Mental Health First Aid, seeing as how odds are in a nation so mixed with millions of people and cultures every single American citizen is more than likely to know someone with a mental health disorder. Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council said,
“This training is relevant to all of us. When you complete the Mental Health First Aid training, you will know how to intervene with someone who is actively suicidal, or help someone who is having a panic attack. You will be able to support a veteran experiencing PTSD symptoms, or a college student with a serious eating disorder. You will be able to recognize a coworker who may be struggling with addiction or a friend who is feeling depressed.”
So the overall goal for this campaign this year is to inspire more people to be more actively involved and aware of how mental health and substance abuse issues impacts every life and community to some extent or another, and that as we shatter stigma and create compassion we should all be willing to make a difference.
For more information on how you could help a friend or family member in need, check out: www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org
Palm Partners understands the importance of mental health treatment when it comes to substance abuse, and dual diagnosis treatment is designed to acknowledge the overlapping nature of these disorders and create the right recovery plan to overcome the disease of addiction and confront issues with mental health. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help, you are not alone.
It has been a long held belief that addicts and alcoholics must want to get sober in order to get sober. Or that they can’t be forced into sobriety. I can definitely see why this belief exists because many addicts and alcoholics won’t get sober until they are ready and willing to do it for themselves. But this isn’t always the case. And often times addicts and alcoholics don’t know their drug use and drinking has put them on death’s front door until it is too late. That is why court-ordered drug treatment is available.
But does court ordered drug treatment work?
Often times, yes it does. Unfortunately getting exact numbers on how court ordered drug treatment fares in comparison to a regular treatment center is difficult. This is because even the numbers for people who choose to go to drug treatment are skewed by relapse and what the definition of success in sobriety even is. Often times relapse is part of the process and it takes an individual a few times through treatment before it sticks. Once it sticks though, does that mean that the individual wasn’t successful due to the relapses? Whatever the case may be it is probably smart to assume that while the numbers or success rate for court ordered drug treatment may not be as high it is still just almost just as effective as any other drug treatment program. And that’s because even the success rates of the best drug treatment centers aren’t very high.
I believe that court ordered drug treatment serves an important purpose in the lives of many addicts and alcoholics, as well as their families. I myself was court ordered to a detox center and it worked for me. I took the next step into drug treatment afterwards. I think often times addicts and alcoholics don’t want drug treatment simply because they are comfortable getting high. I feel, if they got the chance though to see what sobriety could be like and that they didn’t have to do that anymore they might feel differently about using and drinking. Alcoholics and addicts don’t have the foresight, because of their disease, to realize how drug treatment could help them until after they have completed drug treatment. This was exactly my story. I did not want to go to detox, when I was in detox I was much more receptive once my head started to clear, and now after the fact I thank God often that I was involuntarily sent there because I probably would have never gotten help if I hadn’t been. All in all, addicts and alcoholics don’t have to want to get sober to stay sober. I am living proof of that. Sometimes addicts and alcoholics don’t know what they need and when they get it, they are glad they did.
Court ordered drug treatment can work. And the reason it doesn’t for some is because of many different factors not just that the addict and alcoholic doesn’t want it. For instance, a judge is setting the amount of time that an addict or alcoholic has to be in treatment and a judge is not a doctor. The judge may require much too short of mandatory stay than is necessary. If the addict or alcoholic stayed longer they might be more successful but often times after only a short period of time, in court ordered drug treatment or not, the addict or alcoholic thinks they are well again and they are not.
Either way court ordered drug treatment saves lives and while it may or may not have high rates of people staying sober for the rest of their lives, most treatment centers don’t.
If you or your loved one is in need of drug treatment please don’t hesitate to call us at toll-free: 1-800-951-6135
CALIFORNIA WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE, SECTION 5150, second paragraph, “… an application in writing stating the circumstances under which the person’s condition was called to the attention of the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person, and stating that the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person has probable cause to believe that the person is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.”
What is a 5150 hold?
Section 5150, is a section in the California Welfare and Institutions Code which allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily (against their will) confine a person who is deemed to have a mental disorder that makes him or her a danger to themselves or others. A 5150 hold is very similar to a Baker Act but in the state of California.
When section 5150 states a “qualified officer” what they mean is any California peace officer. As for the “clinician”, section 5150 means any designated county clinician. This means that either of these two can request the confinement of an individual after signing a written declaration.
Just like when someone on the east coast is Baker “acted”, someone can also be 5150’ed. In fact when 5150 is used as a term it is pronounced (fifty-one-fifty) it can informally refer to the person who is being confined or the act or declaration itself.
The details of a 5150 hold
The 5150 hold allows someone to be held up to 72 hours against their will. Once a request for a 5150 is filled out by a qualified officer or clinician there is no guarantee that the individual for whom the 5150 is being requested has to stay. The admission of a request just gets the person in the door of the facility they may or may not be staying at for at least 72 hours. After being admitted to the facility the individual will be assessed by the staff there who will decided and determine whether or not a 5150 is appropriate. This is a pre-assessment and just keeps the person there until they can see a mental health professional.
If the staff at the facility find that a 5150 is appropriate, then during the period of confinement, the confined person will be evaluated by a mental health professional also to determine if they should be admitted into a psychiatric unit. If it is found that the individual should be admitted then only the mental health professional (psychiatrist) can remove the 5150 hold. If the 5150 hold didn’t get removed than after the 72 hours are up the psychiatrist will assess the person again and might offer a choice to be voluntarily admitted. If they refuse then another hold for up to two weeks must be requested. At this point the individual will step in front of a judge or hearing officer to see if probably cause exists to support the now 5250.
A 5150 is not supposed to be used to hold a person who has been reported by anyone other than a qualified officer or clinician. But the 5150 does allow a police officer to detain a subject when the officer has observed some of the symptoms that would qualify them to request a 5150.
A 5150 can also be used to hold a person who is severely inebriated in the “drunk” tank. The person can be released when they are sober.
If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Can I force my child to get drug treatment is the question many parents ask when their loved one that is abusing drugs is absolutely refusing and unwilling to seek help for themselves. It is scary to have a child that is using drugs and drinking dangerously and won’t help themselves. A parent feels as if it is their job to protect their children from pretty much everything. So what can you do as a parent if you have a child who is bad off on drugs and alcohol and won’t go to rehab? Luckily, there are things in place for just this scenario and you can force rehab if it is absolutely necessary. The hope, to force rehab is that the person once they get to rehab would give it a try.
Force rehab with an intervention:
If your child refuses to go to rehab and you must force rehab then staging an intervention may be a way to make that person understand that people care and that their behavior is hurting themselves and the other people around them that they love. Conveniently enough there are people who specialize in helping you stage an intervention with your child to force rehab. It is not recommended that you try to force rehab with an intervention on your own. An intervention is usually a surprise to the person and themore people who are close to that person who can tell him or her how they feel about their drug use and drinking the better because the more it can force rehab with that person. The goal is to show the person how much you care and that they need to get help through a rehab facility.
Force rehab with the Baker act:
If a person is over eighteen that is when the Baker Act would want to be used. If the person you are trying to force rehab with was under eighteen you could simply make them go. Unfortunately if they are over 18 they have a say in the matter and that’s where the Baker Act comes in. The Baker Act or the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, allows for involuntary examination (what some call emergency or involuntary commitment). It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians, or mental health professionals. There must be evidence that the person:
- Has a mental illness (as defined in the Baker Act)
- Is a harm to self, harm to others, or self-neglectful (as defined in the Baker Act)
Force rehab with the Marchman Act:
The Marchman Act is somewhat similar to the Baker Act (involuntary commitment) and is especially helpful for those individuals who are over the age of 18 and don’t want to seek out help through a rehab on their own. Forcing rehab with the Marchman Act allows you to put an individual in rehab for up to 48 hours without any mental illness or other issues and the hold is usually released after the 48 hours is up unless the person asks for help themselves at that time. Each state has varying laws when it comes to the Marchman Act so if you want to use this to force rehab check out your state’s laws.
If you want to force rehab realize that it may be unrealistic to expect your child to get well. Most addicts and alcoholics have to want help in order to get sober and stay sober. There are many instances though where parents force rehab and the child goes on to live a happy and fulfilling life. In fact if the parents hadn’t forced rehab they may not even be alive today. So if you feel it is necessary never hesitate to force rehab it could save your loved one’s life.
For more information on how to stage an intervention or how to use the Florida Baker Act or Marchman Act to force your loved one to get drug treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.