“Mental health” services or “compliance” services?

non-compliantHow did mental health become so much about “compliance” and non-compliance?

What other branch of medicine even has the notion that a patient must comply ?

If people were offered choice – and I mean real choice,  not simply the false choice of “well, you either take the meds or we will force you to take the meds” – then compliance would not be an issue.

There would be no need for court involvement that brings to bear the full force of the institutions of the state upon an individual who is already in distress -and who, very likely has already suffered violence, abuse and bullying for much of their life.

There would be no need for the CTO that adds to a doctor’s prescription for medication the threat of police officers knocking at the door of the person who missed the bus and so was not at home when her assertive community treatment team worker called by to witness her take her pills.

And there would be no need for all compliance workers and there would be no need for all the paperwork involved.

There would be no need for every member of every family to be indoctrinated and brainwashed to believe that they have no role other than to become secret agents of  drug compliance forces and their should destroying surveillance, and scrutinizing and parroting over and over the one line they have been given in the performance that has taken over their life too: “have you taken your meds?”

We could spend less time talking about drugs and more time asking about the range of supports a person might find useful.

We could spend less money on services that ensure people comply with drug regimes and  more money on services that support healing, learning and growth and human rights.

oh Mr Diffendoofer, what a world this could be.

Do we have “mental health services”?
You tell me.

How much of what we call “mental health services” are more properly described as  “drug compliance services” ?


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3 Responses to “Mental health” services or “compliance” services?

  1. I couldn’t agree more.

    I used to have a button on my purse that said “stop forced psychiatric treatment”. A man on the subway once asked if that was what I believed, I told him yes. It made me wonder if he thought it was stupid to consider that someone should have a choice.

    Things that are done to people with mental health issues or assumed mental health issues are done in the name of “medicine”. It should be done with us in mind, as people, not as subhumans.


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