Now that I’m one of WEGO Health’s 7 Bipolar Depression Patient Leaders You Need to Know, I decided that I would update my Resources page. Actually, the two have nothing to do with each other. Just promoting myself, thanking WEGO Health, and passing on the resources…
Friday I shadowed another Mental Health Association (MHA) of Orange County Hearing Advocate at two different hospital psych wards, one in Orange and the other in Santa Ana. Neither hospital was as nice as the one in Laguna Beach; though, one was definitely nicer than the other. The patients, too, were quite different. Suffice it to say that though I’m aware of the problem of homelessness of many people with severe mental illness, I received a crash refresher course, and it was sobering. It is tragic that so many people live in a chronic cycle of short-term involuntary hospitalizations and homelessness.
I plan to research more about mental health patients’ rights in California. Here are some online resources that I found listed on the Resources page of the California Association of Mental Health Patients’ Rights Advocates ~ CAMHPRA.org:
California Patients’ Rights Resources
California Government Links
National Patients’ Rights Resources
Loved shadowing an MHA Hearing Advocate earlier today. Look forward to learning more. Great opportunity for me to make use of my experience having been psychiatrically hospitalized for bipolar disorder (albeit voluntarily), while dusting off old knowledge and skills from my education and the careers of my early adulthood. After all, I have a BA in Legal Studies and experience as a legal assistant, an MA in Psychology and counseling skills gained as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and advocacy skills. Those careers date back to my twenties. I’m 51 now. In between, I spent a decade working in commercial real estate and a decade on disability, sometimes struggling to do something as simple as make dinner.
Californians with mental illnesses who are receiving treatment in mental health facilities, including those persons subject to involuntary commitment, are guaranteed numerous rights under State and federal laws, including the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to privacy, dignity, and humane care, and the right to basic procedural protections in the commitment process.