The following is our state’ mandate to OMH on how to enact the state’s mental health policy:
It speaks of:
- mentally ill persons
- high quality of services
- Protection of rights
- OMH must regulate and control the services
Do you agree that is what it talks about? Well, they, OMH and the department of mental health( DOMH) disagree. OMH goes frequently to court to argue the following against consumers and their public lawyers:
1. about “seeing” that services are “of high quality” for “mentally ill persons”, they argue that
“MHL does not impose a duty on OMH to provide any particular level of care for specific individuals” [Cintron v. NYS OMH and Comunilife 2011]
If that were true, that YOU, the specific individual reading this at this moment, don’t have a right to any level of quality of services, then NY MH laws are nothing but empty words, beautifully crafted lies to fool you into believing that our legislators meant what they wrote.
The technicalities of our legal system can be manipulated against those with the least power in society. That piece of law above meant what it says. OMH manipulates its meaning. It’s a crap shoot for us in court.
2. about protecting the rights of persons with mental illness, they say that…
“no person may individually seek to compel the State to take any particular law enforcement action.” [same case]
If YOU, the person receiving the abuse, can’t “compel” them to bring the unprofessional provider to justice, then, who can? What’s the point of having grievance procedures and ‘justice centers’ if the agencies created to protect us say that they are not mandated to enforce the law? We saw in yesterday’s post that one of the purposes of licensing policy is to regulate and the state lends these agencies its police-powers to enforce the rules to protect the consumers. What do these agencies think about that? This:
“such regulatory authority is of only indirect benefit to the individual, and its exercise is solely within the discretion of the governmental agency”
So, what do they do with those awesome powers if not to enforce the law that says “high quality and protect the rights”?
3. also about protecting our rights…
“MHLS can’t have access to clients in unlicensed facilities“ [Hirschfield v. Teller NY 2010]
That means that public lawyers can’t go out there, where you are, to listen and advocate for you. It says that this applies to unlicensed facilities, which happen to be, as we saw yesterday, more than half of all the programs in NYS. And they feel fine throwing that argument to you in your face in court. But wait, the argument doesn’t apply only to unlicensed facilities.
“there is no private right of action under the NYS MH LAW“.
Badda bam! All those rules and laws and all for nothing: you have no right to use our mental health laws to sue and get justice and stop the suffering. That last ruling is in the above cases and many others. So what are these laws there for if they can’t be enforced? How many times do we see these two agencies in court on the side of the abusive and unprofessional provider?
Next, how DOHM/OMH licensing rules defeat the purpose of our mental health act.