The Real Civil Commitment Crisis and How To Solve It

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A recent column highlighted the longstanding debate around the role of civil commitment laws, occasioned by the inartful response of President Donald Trump to the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The need to strike a proper balance between guarding one’s civil liberties while ensuring the public welfare is an important discussion, especially in light of what appears to be an increasing number of high-profile tragedies that might call for commitment law reform. Yet, the authors conflated this important discussion with a second argument against providing inpatient psychiatric care. This conflation is too frequently exploited by decision makers as a cynical means of reducing desperately needed mental health resources. Given the dire state of our inpatient treatment system, the issue is deserving of careful interrogation and consideration