VPS Position on ONH Statutes
The mission of Vermont Psychiatric Survivors is to provide advocacy and mutual support that seeks to end psychiatric coercion, oppression and discrimination. Involuntary outpatient commitment is on its face coercive, and the arguments for its use further oppression and discrimination against those marginalized by having received psychiatric labels. The Vermont legislature has codified its intention “to work toward a mental health system that does not require coercion or the use of involuntary medication.” VPS, therefore, 1 calls on the state to strike from the books legislation that allows for court-ordered outpatient treatment, or orders of nonhospitalization, and join Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Tennessee in resisting the punitive and paternalistic model put forth by the Treatment Advocacy Center and other proponents of force.
Testimony of Vermont Psychiatric Survivors
In Act 82, the Vermont legislature asked the Secretary of Human Services, in collaboration with the Commissioner of Mental Health and the Chief Judge, to analyze and submit a report regarding the role that involuntary treatment and psychiatric medication play in inpatient emergency department wait times, including any concerns arising from judicial timelines and processes.
Testimony of Wilda L. White
In line with our mission, VPS asks that the state:
- Fund the creation of 6 peer-operated crisis respite and community centers throughout the state.
- Follow through on last year’s efforts to increase peer-to-peer supports in the community.
- Prevent the need to increase inpatient beds by funding supported housing.
- Commit to holding the Brattleboro Retreat accountable for quality of care and transparency.