Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
When an individual with a mental health condition in need of intensive psychiatric care is hospitalized, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the individual, family, and friends may have mixed reactions. They may feel relief that the individual is safe, but they may also feel emotionally, physically, and potentially financially drained. Yesterday on CFYM, Dr. Sederer shared his expertise in navigating what can be daunting legal and medical legalities on patient psychiatric hospitalization treatment rights. DBSA believes that patient protections are important to ensuring individuals are the lead decision-makers in their own wellness. The best wellness outcomes are achieved when individuals living with mental health conditions and their family and friends are educated and prepared for crisis.
Education is Power
DBSA encourages individuals to become knowledgeable about (1) mental health laws in the states in which they reside; (2) options for treatment centers and outpatient programs other than hospitals; and (3) the rules and regulations regarding admission and release in hospitals and treatment facilities, both for voluntary and involuntary entry.
Whether hospitalized voluntarily or involuntarily, individuals have the following rights:
- to have treatment explained;
- to be informed of benefits and risks of treatment;
- to refuse treatment the individual feels is unsafe;
- to be informed about any procedures that the individual feels may be unnecessary; and
- to refuse to take part in research and experimental treatments, and to disallow students or observers.
DBSA supports adherence to these patient rights in all circumstances.