In Reply: I agree with NAMI's supporters that NAMI's lobbying has been successful. It is the family advocacy end that I question. Mr. Emmet concludes with a call to stand together. But he and I have disconnected. I didn't find the way to his ear. If, as he urges, I stand together with him—beside him—I will have surrendered my voice.
Ms. Phillips has been there. Mr. Joondeph sees the dilemma clearly.
A recent report on trauma indicates that as many as 80 percent of those who later receive a diagnosis of mental illness have been sexually and physically abused (1). I would like the spotlight to shift to the causes of the abuse itself, away from only medicating the effects of the abuse.
The new Treatment Advocacy Center and the finality of involuntary commitment as NAMI's effective solution alienate me. The coercive acts that NAMI advocates are intolerable in a just society. This is as true today as it was in 1776, when this nation cut the cord with England because of what the colonists called the Coercive Acts. I am looking for a morally informed advocacy grounded in democratic due process.
I repeat my request to the family lobbyists: "Listen."