Re "Efforts underway to prevent all-too-often tragic results of untreated, severe mental illness" (Editorial, May 21): Rep. Doris Matsui deserves applause for her opposition to the regressive Helping Families in Crisis bill by Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy's bill would gut important, hard-earned protections for mental health clients and would also radically change the direction of federally funded community programs away from an orientation of recovery back toward the failed punitive and coercive policies of the past.
Matsui is right to support the Strengthening Mental Health in Communities Act by Rep. Ron Barber, which supports improving community-based interventions and more collaboration among programs already providing housing, job support and other services.
While there are many unmet needs, no one will benefit from the Murphy bill's drastic, poorly thought out reforms; only policies which emphasize dignity, respect and hope will continue to build upon progress already made in the mental health field during the last few decades. -- Dave Hosseini, former executive director, Sacramento Office of Patient Rights, Sacramento