Homelessness, Hospitalization and “Compliance”
As most of you know, E. Fuller Torrey is a psychiatrist, one of the strongest proponents of involuntary treatment, and a supporter of outpatient commitment — the process of mandating that individuals take psychiatric drugs for extended periods of time after being released from a hospital setting. In the quote above, he accuses Robert Whitaker of ignoring the plight of the homeless “mentally ill” who he believes would be better served by the modern mental health system and forced psychiatric drug treatment.
But before getting to Torrey’s argument, let’s first take a look at how those who are poor and homeless and suffering severe emotional distress are generally treated in the community. Often those who are suffering distress will be brought to a hospital setting by police or community members, or come in of their own accord voluntarily. Once hospitalized, they are almost invariably prescribed psychiatric drugs and often are prescribed antipsychotics.