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March 14, 2018Alerts

Contact your State Senator TODAY and urge them to vote NO on HB 1233!


The Pennsylvania Senate is preparing to vote on House Bill 1233 before the end of March. This bill would amend the Mental Health Procedures Act and change the standards for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) in Pennsylvania (forced outpatient commitment).  Contact your State Senator TODAY and urge them to vote NO on HB 1233!

Here is a letter from Disability Rights Pennsylvania and other Mental Health organizations highlighting our concerns with the legislation.

Below is some important information to know about this harmful legislation.

The harmful changes include future predictions and long look-back periods that will increase the number of people to be involuntarily committed to outpatient treatment with NO NEW FUNDING.

Talking Points:

It is unconscionable to commit people without assuring that they receive the services they need.

HB 1233 does not require that a person’s AOT plan offer the services that the person needs. In fact, it specifically states that an individual’s treatment plan only needs to include the services and supports that already exist in the county.

For example: Not all counties have Assertive Community Treatment Teams or mobile medication units and this bill will not make such services available even if an individual needs them. Since there is no funding attached to the legislation, the intensive supports that a person might need will not be available in all areas.

This legislation will only make the problem worse. County mental health services are already stressed and at times are unable to offer the services people need to be successful.

Supporters of HB 1233 claim that the corrections system will experience savings as a result of this bill. There is no specific data that supports that claim. But if true, there is no reason to believe that any savings will be transferred to the mental health system.

Additional funding will be needed for county courts, public defender and mental health officer review time. 

Take Additional Action:

Since there is a chance that HB 1233 will pass out of Committee and come to the Senate floor for a vote, it is important that we inform all Senators of our concerns.  Please act today!