Maryland pushing for new outpatient civil commitment law

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The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has outlined legislation that could ease Anne Arundel County's mental health needs.

The DHMH report, released Wednesday, has a proposal for an outpatient civil commitment law that would allow judges to order individuals with dangerous mental illness to undergo treatment while remaining in the community.

Maryland is one of five states that doesn't already have such a law, although states apply these laws in varying ways.

"It is very important for people with mental illness to recover and live productive lives," said DHMH secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein. "We are talking about a critical missing component in Maryland law that needs to be fixed in order to support certain people in Maryland getting the services they need."


  1. Jan Ables-Register's avatar
    Jan Ables-Register
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    I say it is quite possible to commit a loved one with compassion and support... keep the family extremely involved.. let them stay by the side of their loved one relentlessly championing their needs until the patient has regained equilibrium. The lock em up and throw away the key is a ridiculous statement... Our loved ones deserve to be healthy.. and they should NEVER have to make the journey to health alone.. These ridiculous HIPPA laws add more to the stigma of mental illness than anything else.. Bring it out of the closet.. support openly.. like we have done for cancer patients!
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