Subject: Re: Message from the Governor's website
Date: December 10, 2004 12:16:30 PM PST

Dear Gene Haire,

While I appreciate the response, I am very concerned.

I can easily find the law for any state on the Internet.

However, as anyone involved in organizational development can tell you, there's more to an organization and their customer satisfaction than the letter of the law.

For instance:

* What values does the organization champion?

Are you working toward values of self-determination, empowerment? Are you working to provide humane alternatives?

* What do you do about feedback from clients?

If FOUR customers have the SAME complaint about serious disempowerment and feeling harmed by forced drugs, then does this raise any red flags?

* What voice do people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities have in your state?

Are there organized groups of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors who are encouraged to speak out, to be on planning committees, to be involved in advocacy?

* How in touch is your network with emerging concepts?

For example, how is the move toward recovery going?

Now, if you want to talk about the letter of the law, we could talk about Olmstead, such as how your implementation is going.

And we could also talk about how new medical evidence shows that neuroleptics can cause structural brain damage, but no court has been adequately informed of this new medical evidence YET... but once courts are so informed, there will be major changes in the law on forced neuroleptics.

But you know what?

When it comes to the court of PUBLIC OPINION, the letter of the law just isn't as important as what is going on with your organization in terms of responsibility, responsiveness to customer and citizen complaints, etc.

Perhaps you've noticed that there is a backlash going on with citizens about abuses by the psychiatric drug industry, such as cover-up of evidence on SSRI's with FDA, etc. etc.

Some day -- I do not know when but hopefully not long --citizens will want to know what their millions of dollars are buying in Montana, one of the most expensive outlays in any state is the mental health system and mental health drugs.

Some day -- I do not know when but hopefully not long --citizens will want to know what each of you is doing to help implement evidence-based practices such as peer support, advocacy, psychosocial alternatives (such as housing, employment training, etc.).

Some day -- I do not know when but hopefully not long --the citizens who pay the bills will want to get hands on about the mental health system.

Perhaps my e-mail today will not lead to significant change.

But at least you can never say, "No one ever complained, no one ever brought up these issues."

We have. We've shown that you have four very dissatisfied customers at Montana State Hospital with the same story, a story that checks out as part of a pattern of disempowerment and over-drugging and coercion that has become inherent to the mental health system today.

And one day the taxpayers will want to know what you did about it.

Feel free to network this letter with anyone else who feels there is a need for deep and major change in our mental health system today.



David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International ph: (541) 345-9106

On Dec 10, 2004, at 9:54 AM, Haire, Gene wrote:

Mr. Oaks:

Your e-mail message sent to the Governor's office via the Montana State web page has been forwarded to me. The Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors operates a legal services office at Montana State Hospital. Among other things, our Attorney and our Paralegal/Advocate represent patients (an administrative/clinical, not a judicial process) in "involuntary medication" procedures at the hospital. Requirements for the administration of medications to patients against their wishes are defined in Montana statute and in Montana State Hospital policy addictive_mental_disorde rs/montana_state_hospital/vol_ii/18_psychiatric_svcs/ involuntary_medicat ions.pdf.

Because of confidentiality requirements, I will not address any specific patient concerns with MindFreedom. The Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors believes that the following statements accurately describe how "involuntary medications" are handled at the commitment hearing level and at Montana State Hospital:

1) The authorization of the "chief medical officer of a facility or a physician designated by the court to administer appropriate medication involuntarily" [from Montana Code Annotated, 53-21-127(6). 2003.] is a judicial decision made in the context of an involuntary commitment hearing. During these hearings, respondents obviously have representation of counsel as well as other due process protections.

2) The Montana State Hospital policy and procedure for considering treating physicians' requests to administer medications against the wishes of patients are good, err on the side of pursuing other (voluntary) alternatives, and include 14 and 90 day reviews.

3) Montana State Hospital only pursues involuntary medication if the treating physician believes that an individual will continue to meet the criteria for involuntary commitment unless he/she takes medication, and if all other alternate measures have been attempted and failed.

4) The Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors is involved throughout this process as an advocate for patients.

Gene Haire Executive Director Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors Governor's Office (406) 444-3955 _______________________________________________________________________ _ ______________________________________________________________________

-----Original Message-----From: [] Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2004 5:10 PM To: Subject: Message from the Governor's website

FormMail submitted from

Name: David Oaks


subject: Message from the Governor's website

Prefix: Mr.


Address1: 454 Willamette

Address2: Suite 216

City: Eugene

State: OR

Zip: 97401

Tel: 541-345-9106

Fax: 541-913-4312

Group: MindFreedom International

GroupRelationship: director (non-profit organization)

Comments: Dear Governor,

For the FOURTH time in recent weeks I have received clear communications from one of your clients -- four clients -- with similar story and complaints about Montana State Hospital.

They all complain of coerced and forced drugging for long periods of time, and experiencing disempowerment without good cause.

Three of those who have contacted us have also joined as MindFreedom members.

Here is a letter we just received from CHARLES MCCORMICK:


27 November 2004

To whom it may concern,

My name is Charles McCormick and I am writing on my own behalf about being locked in a psychiatric unit at Montana State Hospital.

It initiated as an aggravated assault I did ten years ago.

Since then I have been here and on a conditional release program. Warm Springs doesn't offer much in the way of healthy measures.

Instead they press medications.

I have been on them (meds) for about 17 years and am now taking more than ever.

I am writing you in hope you could intervene and ease the burden.


Charles McCormick c/o Montana State Hospital Warm Springs, MT 59756