Letter: Support bill to give psychiatric patients grievance rights

Without breaking any laws, a person can end up in a locked psychiatric institution or unit. For some it can be a traumatic and scary place. Up to 47 percent of people locked in institutions will experience trauma that may cause or exacerbate post-traumatic stress disorder.

One hundred years ago psychiatric patients had no rights; 50 years ago rights were improved; 25 years ago rights were improved again. The current psychiatric patients’ grievance procedure law was written in 1992: 118 words and poorly written. The grievance law should be improved to give patients more grievance rights.

The number of psychiatric patient complaints during treatment can only be estimated at 700 per year because the Department of Health and Social Services refuses to keep statistics.

House Bill 214 will be given a hearing March 11th at 3 p.m. Support giving psychiatric patients improved grievance rights.

— Dorrance Collins and Faith Myers

mental health advocates