Oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Please call your member by using the central switchboard number:
(202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to the staff person responsible for health and mental health issues.

If you prefer to use email to contact Congress, you can go to www.House.gov and in the upper right corner of the home page, there is a place to enter your zip code and find out who is your member of the US House of Representatives.Click on that and you will be directed to your Member's web page.

The purpose of the calls is to ask that the members oppose the bill Sponsored by Rep. Tim Murphy, HR 3717.

Rep. Murphy was on C-Span today giving his opinions on why the bill should be passed. I wrote a letter to the editor citing several of the reasons the bill would harm persons with psychiatric disabilities.--and there are many.
Here is rthe link: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/15/4074722/martha-brock-no-help-at-all-for.html

First and foremost for those of us who support DIsability Rights NC and the work it does for our peers,we need to communicate how devastating it would be to no longer have any protection and advocacy work allowed except in institutional settings

Thanks you for your advocacy,


HR 3717: LTE of the News and Observer, 08-16

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act flies in the face of the federal government’s efforts to promote community integration for persons with disabilities, and its provisions would send mental health systems decades backward.

H.R. 3717’s provisions would:

• Virtually eliminate the main system of legal representation for Americans with psychiatric disabilities through the “PAIMI” protection and advocacy system.

• Strip away privacy rights (HIPAA) for Americans with psychiatric disabilities and other mental disabilities.

• Create incentives for needless hospitalization and civil rights violations by increasing use of involuntary commitment of mental health clients in N.C.

• Redirect federal funds from effective, voluntary community services to high-cost, involuntary treatment, including outpatient commitment.

Contrary to the claims in the Aug. 12 letter “Mentally ill help,” Rep. Tim Murphy’s bill is not a good bill, and that is why the leadership of the House and Committee Chairman Fred Upton have yet to act on the bill.



A letter to the editor was published today in response to my letter, which I am not posting here, but it is published here

Instead of posting Liz Johnston's LTE of the Raleigh N&O, I am going to publish a separate post in the comments from Pat Risser. Pat is from Ohio and trained as an attorney, and he is a national leader among those who promote rights for persons with psychiatric disabilities. I am very pleased he was willing to share his insight on this bill, which is very controversial and a great threat to progress in integrating folks with mental illness diagnoses into the community and reducing society's reliance on forced medication and forced hospitalization.

Martha Brock

Who is really behind the mental health bill in Congress

Rep. Tim Murphy is a child psychologist with absolutely no background in mental health policy development.

He put forth a bill, "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," and it is designed to help families and not the adults who would, by the power of the court, be forced to receive "treatment."

Murphy claims that, "their illness may prevent them from understanding they are ill and in need of treatment." This is absolutely false. Murphy is basically a front man for NAMI or more specifically, E. Fuller Torrey. He's obviously drank the Torrey cult Kool-Aid.

NAMI promotes the false belief in anosognosia, a lack of knowledge of impairment, as a way to justify the use of force and coercion. Anosognosia is a term used in neurology that means ignorance of the presence of disorder, specifically of paralysis, most often seen in patients with non-dominant parietal lobe lesions, who deny their hemiparesis. This neurological condition always includes a hemispherical component and upon autopsy, there always exists lesions on the brain. Neither of those components are present in mental health issues so NAMI misuses and distorts this term to obfuscate and give false reason to justify use of force and coercion.

The bill strips HIPAA of it's privacy regulations with regard to adults who have been psychiatrically labeled. Mental Illness Does Not Exist within the Medical Model framework. There are no biochemical markers, no biological tests, no hard evidence at all, to "prove" the existence of "mental illness." Proof means the ability to demonstrate a reliable association between a clearly specified pattern of observable and reliably measurable event(s) that operate as antecedents. (This is same level of proof used for TB, cancer, diabetes, etc.) Our thoughts, moods, feelings or emotions are not a disease, disorder or an illness.

The bill HR 3717 would strip away the Institution for Mental Disease ("IMD") exclusion allowing Medicaid to pay for extended stay in institutional care. In other words, this would be a damaging reversal back to the days of warehousing people.

The bill provides for "AOT"--Assisted Outpatient Treatment --is neither assisted, nor is it treatment. It is a court order, a legal process, ordering (force) the person to comply with treatment. AOT is used to obfuscate that it's really force. It's actually civil commitment. If services were attractive, desirable and actually worked (helped the person), no bill would be necessary because we wouldn't be able to keep people away from them. So, what's needed are improved services, not force.

NAMI and supporters of the bill believe that it's a less intrusive intervention to force someone to comply with treatment in their own home than to be locked away in a hospital. The problem is that the "treatment" is usually only psychiatric drugs. It is intrusive to order that those be ingested where, they can cause severe damage including death.

Family members struggles are genuine but, they are not the ones who are dying as a result of “treatment.” Those who receive “treatment” are dying over 25 years younger than the general population. In the early 90’s we were dying only 10-15 years younger. A series of recent studies consistently show that persons with serious mental illnesses in the public mental health system die sooner than other Americans, with an average age of death of 52.

A(Colton, C.W., Manderscheid, R.W. (2006) Congruencies in Increased Mortality Rates, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Causes of Death Among Public Mental Health Clients in Eight States. Preventing Chronic Disease. Vol. 3(2).)

B) "Adults with serious mental illness treated in public systems die about 25 years earlier than Americans overall, a gap that's widened since the early '90s when major mental disorders cut life spans by 10 to 15 years."
Report from NASMHPD (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors), May 7, 2007

C) Psychiatric Services 50:1036-1042, August 1999, Life Expectancy and Causes of Death in a Population Treated for Serious Mental Illness.

Rep. Murphy's bill suggests a priority population to receive services. However, this method would target only the "worst." So, the worst get moved to the front of the line and there is nothing for anyone else. This is an absurd way to prioritize services. This method of triage would fail if used elsewhere in medicine. Imagine a heart care system that only provided care to those needing a transplant but with no lesser levels of care or prevention.

What gives Murphy (and NAMI/E. Fuller Torrey) the right to decide who fits their criteria for the "worst?" They believe that the "worst" are those with a psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar and major depression (and sometimes ADD and OCD). They selected those because those are the ones that Big Pharma has a drug to offset some of the symptoms (even if it causes us to die over 25 years too young). I contend that they do not have the right to decide the criteria for the "worst."

My criteria would include those who have the highest rates of suicide (personality disorders and people who have survived trauma). I have just as much right as they to decide the "worst" and my criteria would actually save lives with trauma informed help and suicide prevention activity.

Patrick A. Risser
154 Ronald Ave.
Ashland, OH 44805
URL: http://www.patrisser.com

While Pat and I are not in complete agreement on some of his assertions above, he makes excellent points that are ignored time and time again by the mainstream media with their constant, and unproved assertion that there is definitely is something that they call a "chemical imbalance." Read the literature. There is no basis in research for this claim, yet NAMI, SAMHSA, and particularly the Treatment and Advocacy Center (TAC) run by E. Fuller Torrey, just keep repeating this claim as if it were fact.

NOTE: One of the earliest members of Congress to become a Co-sponsor of Tim Murphy's bill was North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC2). As a trained nurse, she should know better than to accept the unsubstantiated claims put forward in support of this bill

One final comment from me on HR 3717. Ignoring the rights violations and misinformation campaign associated with this bill by Rep. Tim Murphy, the financial consequences for North Carolina could be catastrophic.

At this time in NC, the state legislature and the NC DHHS are struggling to control Medicaid expenditures and rein in escalating costs. What would Murphy's bill do to address this problem? The bill would increase hospitalization by partially removing the IMD exclusion, allowing Medicaid to pay for care in state hospitals and private psychiatric hospitals.

Removing the IMD exclusion would lead to massive expenditures and an increase in institutional levels of care, rewarding states that over-rely on hospitals and promoting needless institutionalization in violation of the ADA and the Olmstead decision.

The cost of lifting the IMD exclusion would be better spent on cost-effective community services that reduce hospital use. Disability Rights NC is already involved in the DOJ investigation of violations of the Olmstead decision in NC. This creates the potential for a large class action lawsuit based on discrimination against those with psychiatric disabilities. Is this really what taxpayers in NC want from Congress?

Martha Brock

The U.S. House Mental Health Caucus has disappeared--today

Today, we were shocked, utterly shocked and dismayed, to learn that the U.S. House of Representatives Mental Health Caucus has disappeared. It is gone without a trace—no notice, no fanfare, no transparency.

The Mental Health Caucus has long been essential to our field. Out of the Caucus has come vital, landmark legislation. Notably, this has recently included the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and key features of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Just this year, we hoped to see the Caucus identify and put forward the positive and non-controversial features of the Ron Barber and the Tim Murphy mental health bills.

In our current divided, fractionated, and highly dysfunctional political system, the Caucus has served as a vital neutral ground where all sides could come together, hold respectful discussion, and compromise on essential mental health legislation...

Ron Manderscheid, PhD
Exec. Dir., NACBHDD
Email: Ron Manderscheid, PhD
Twitter: @DrRonM
Website: www.nacbhdd.org
(from Behavioral Health)

Martha Brock


that. Just a plain old "poof."

Apparently this was not correct information

I have not been able to corroborate this story, although the source is usually reliable. It appears the story was about the Mental Health Congressional Caucus led by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). I do not know why it was reported that the caucus was disbanded.

Martha Brock

Blog on the Murphy Bill H. R. 3717 by Faith Rhyne of Asheville


"It seems to me like a bit of a conflict in messaging, though such things are to be expected when one is not entirely sure about what it is they are saying and whether or not it is real.

In speaking about “mental health,” that’s a fairly common phenomenon . . . because we do not, after the billions in research and innumerable social and medical experiments that have been conducted, really have any idea what we are talking about when we talk about mental health..."

Posted to the "Mad in America "blog run by Robert Whitaker by Faith Rhyne of Asheville, NC, Dec. 18, 2013

Martha Brock