TAC rhetoric! Hands down the most mind-blown example of Orwellian doublethink going on in the national discourse.
Alison Hymes correctly identifies TAC as a political action committee that promotes wicked discrimination while claiming itself a leading advocate for the mentally ill. The following is from her post about TAC’s Craig’s List ad for a new director. Here I attempt to unpack their language and get to the bottom of it:
The Treatment Advocacy Center seeks a dynamic and passionate leader who can continue a commanding track record of success into its second decade.
The Treatment Advocacy Center (www.TreatmentAdvocacyCenter.org) is a national nonprofit based inside the Washington Beltway (Arlington, VA). TAC has an expert legal, communications, and support staff in place and a budget a little under $1,000,000. The legal advocacy center, which has Charity Navigator’s top 4-star rating, is dedicated to bringing needed care to people overwhelmed by the symptoms of severe mental illnesses.
TAC orchestrates and promotes legislative, program and policy reforms that remove barriers to the treatment of those most impacted by disorders like schizophrenia.
“Policy reforms” are the laws they want to change around confidentiality, the physical integrity of law-abiding citizens, privacy protections and the like.
The “barriers” are civil rights.
“Schizophrenia” signifies the horrifying Other, acting weird in tattered clothing, sleeping on benches and aggressively panhandling.
The center also supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of acute psychiatric illnesses through the Stanley Medical Research Institute, an independently funded supporting organization.
If TAC was truly honest and objective about finding the cause of psychic distress they would give equal support to NON-MEDICAL research that begins with the TRAUMA model of major mental illness. What they do instead is poison the well of debate by pretending trauma research doesn’t exist. If they have their way it won’t.
TAC has facilitated significant legal reforms in 17 states, including Kendra’s Law in New York. The organization has built a strong national media presence; pieces featuring TAC and its efforts have appeared in many of the nation’s largest newspaper, television, radio and internet venues.
Because all people living with mental illness are a hairsbreadth away from pushing another poor Kendra into the path of an oncoming train. You could be next! This is scapegoating pure and simple, making the innocent bear the blame for the actions of the guilty.
A chief focus is promoting lower thresholds for involuntary commitment to benefit those who are unable to help themselves because of the untreated symptoms of psychiatric disorders.
Sounds great. Let’s try that again:
A chief focus is promoting lower thresholds (read: statutory change) for involuntary (forced, over the individual’s objections) commitment to lock up, medicate, electroshock
benefitthose who are unwilling unableto renounce helpthemselves because of their reasonable avoidance of dangerous state hospitals and total institutions the untreated symptoms of psychiatric disorders.
These are individuals who in many cases cannot, under current law, be helped until they become a “danger to self or others.”
Under the law in many states, peeing in the street
being obviously psychoticand indisputably in need of toilet facilities psychiatric careis insufficient justification for courts to authorize families and mental health professionals to incarcerate intervene.The results of such laws and policies are evidenced by the nearly 300,000 Americans with serious mental illnesses in jail and prison and the 200,000 living in our streets.
Non-treatment also results in thousands of suicides each year and acts of violence towards others.
Research shows the mentally ill are no more likely to commit violence than the general population. They are, however more likely to be killed by untrained police who are hyped up on the fear TAC promulgates and fury toward citizens the average police officer is incapable of communicating with.
TAC works to bring help and hope to this population of the most ill.
What TAC does not do is define their terms. What they do instead is bastardize meaning. Using feel good, legitimatizing words like “help”, “care”, “treatment”, and “advocacy” without explaining what they mean by these terms brings to my mind words like “agenda”, “deception”, “obfuscation”, and unrelenting “spin” into the land of ad nauseam.