Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eugene, Oregon takes a giant step forward

Hot off the press! The city of Eugene, Oregon passed this resolution last night. Please circulate. Your local paper should know about this.

The original post is from Ron Unger's blog. http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/2009/10/city-affirms-choice-in-mental-health-treatment-including-choice-of-non-drug-alternatives-as-a-human-right/

RESOLUTION NO. __________

The City Council of the City of Eugene finds that:

A. The City Council of the City of Eugene recognizes that the diversity of our population is vital to our community's character, and that we have a long tradition of protecting and expanding human rights and civil liberties protections for all of our residents, including persons with all types of disabilities.

B. U.S. Courts have affirmed a number of rights for people diagnosed with mental disabilities. At the national level, the right to choose to live in the least restrictive environment that is reasonably available has been affirmed. At the state level, a number of courts have affirmed a person's right to refuse psychotropic medications, even when the state has a "compelling interest" in providing treatment, if less intrusive, effective treatment alternatives exist. These decisions are consistent with the principle that all people have the right to lives free of unnecessary restrictions and intrusions.

C. Many people determine that psychiatric medications are quite helpful for their mental and emotional conditions, and are grateful to have the opportunity to take them. Others find medications to be harmful to their health, unhelpful and/or excessively intrusive and problematic. When people seek treatment and are offered medication as the only treatment option, they may feel coerced into choosing that option. Many of the medications currently provided are typically associated with significant medical risk, are often experienced as subjectively harmful, and their long-term effectiveness remains controversial. Furthermore, there are widely researched psychosocial alternative treatments likely to be at least as effective for many, with fewer harmful effects.

D. Many mental health problems are caused by trauma and human rights violations, such as child abuse, war, racism, lack of housing and economic opportunities, domestic violence, and others. A key element in any kind of trauma is the denial of choice. When people who have been traumatized are denied choices in recovery, an effect may be retraumatization.

E. Serious psychiatric disorder is often thought of as inevitably a permanent condition requiring a lifetime of medication, however research shows that a substantial fraction of those with even the most serious diagnoses do fully recover, eventually not requiring treatment. Treatment choices, designed to foster rehabilitation and recovery, which include working, living, and participating in the life of the community, have been shown to increase such recovery.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF EUGENE, a Municipal Corporation of the State of Oregon, as follows:

Section 1. All mental health service providers within the City of Eugene are encouraged to incorporate self determination and consumer choice as much as possible, with accurate information provided to consumers and to families about those choices. Special emphasis should be placed on providing diverse alternatives in treatments, including non-drug alternatives, whenever possible.

Section 2. All mental health service providers within the City of Eugene are urged to offer a full range of choices designed to assist in complete recovery. Section 3. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.

The foregoing Resolution adopted the ____ day of October, 2009.

Acting City Recorder

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