Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Spring is free... again!
Spring is free... again!
November 28, 2023

    Health, homelessness, and H.R. 2646

    For the last fifty years Americans with severe mental illness have lacked appropriate care. Many are homeless and live on the streets. Still more have been trapped in the prison system, often for decades.

    But finally a solution may be at hand. H.R. 2646, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act co-sponsored by Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) is making its way through Congress.

    This bill would go a long way toward providing needed care to these most vulnerable of our citizens. First and most important, this bill would reverse the disastrous IMD (Institutions for Mental Diseases) Exclusion and allow federal funds to help pay for treatment in psychiatric hospitals and substance abuse treatment facilities.

    It would also provide funds for Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement personnel. CIT training emphasizes the use of de-escalation techniques so as to reduce arrests and prevent violence in these highly charged situations.

    The bill also encourages Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), treatment mandated by the court as a condition of remaining in the community. Research has shown that AOT decreases hospitalization, homelessness, arrests and incarceration. Those in AOT programs tend to stay in treatment and are much less likely to make suicide attempts, harm others, or be victimized themselves.

    Psychosis is terrifying. Auditory hallucinations bombard the victim with derogatory comments and threats. It’s impossible to hold onto reality; formerly trusted friends and family members appear to become enemies.

    Frequently, very ill young people simply wander off and become homeless. For reasons of public policy as well as humanity please contact your congressperson and let them know you support this bill.

    To find out more, go to

    Alice Feller is a staff writer at the Tower. E-mail her at alicefeller967(at)

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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