Massachusetts bill would allow judges to order outpatient treatment

A new bill in Massachusetts would allow judges to order mentally ill individuals to outpatient care following release from a healthcare facility, ABC News reported April 5. 

Massachusetts is one of only three states, including Connecticut and Maryland, that do not give judges this authority. 

Families and mental health professionals related to mentally ill individuals would be able to ask courts to order the individual into treatment. 

The bill would allow a judge to assign individuals a personalized treatment plan and a monthly assessment by a mental health professional. 

Opponents of the bill argue that mental healthcare should only be afforded to individuals who seek it out, while proponents argue that court-ordered treatment plans are more likely to be followed through, according to the news outlet.

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