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David Baxter

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Dispelling myths ? Strongest support for AOT comes from people who could be saved by it
May 30, 2007

A commonly propagated myth in the mental health community is that people with severe mental illnesses oppose assisted treatment. In fact, some of the most articulate advocacy on this subject comes from people who have experienced the devastating consequences of untreated mental illness. Advocates like Jonathan Stanley, Valerie Fox, Donnie Buchanan, and Austin Mardon support interventions like assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) because they want to know that if they lose insight into their illness and begin to deteriorate, their families will be able to help them.

Mr. Mardon said it so well in his op-ed in the Edmonton Journal this week:

I live in constant fear of what will happen to me if I become extremely ill again. I am comforted knowing that if I become so ill that I can no longer understand the need for treatment, my wife and family will be able to legally get me the help I need.

Those who are against enforced treatment do not seem to understand that even those who turn their backs on the beneficial and appropriate treatment they could be receiving from their health providers, will receive some type of treatment.

The tragedy is that instead of receiving appropriate treatment from their physicians, they could receive inappropriate treatment at the hands of the criminal justice system; the rough, hopeless treatment of lives lived on the streets; or the finality of treatment at the hands of a mortician.​
 

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