Great article, “Gentler justice,” by reporter Kyle Hopkins, (Story, June 1). Hopefully psychiatric patients the state considers disabled will not be forgotten. I have a two-year degree in Early Childhood Education, but when I had a psychotic break and wound up in the state-run Alaska Psychiatric Institute, I probably had a measurable IQ of under 70. Civil commitment proceedings for most patients are a blur, and grievance procedures are written by psychiatric institutions, the same ones that had to be told in 1984 that corporal punishment was against the law. I was lucky enough to recover, but rights for all psychiatric patients must be improved, starting with civil commitment proceedings and the grievance procedure law. Both must be improved for disabled psychiatric patients.
— Faith Myers
Mental Health Advocate