order a patient to undergo inpatient (hospital) or outpatient (community) treatment if there is clear and convincing evidence that a proposed patient, as a result of mental disorder, is:
- a danger to self, or
- a danger to others, or
- persistently or acutely disabled, or
- gravely disabled and in need of treatment,
- and is either unwilling or unable to accept voluntary treatment.
Relevant facts in the wake of the Arizona shootings . . .
- Arizona jails or imprisons 9.3 times more people with severe mental illness than it treats hospitalizes ("More Mentally Ill Persons Are in Jails and Prisons Than Hospitals: A Survey of the States," Treatment Advocacy Center, May 2010). Only one state jails more (Nevada).
- At last report, Arizona had 5.9 psychiatric beds per 100,000 population, again ranking it second from the last following Nevada ("The Shortage of Public Hospital Beds for Mentally Ill Persons," Treatment Advocacy Center, March 2008). Recommended level to meet public need: 50 beds per 100,000.
- Arizona is home to more than 50,000 people with schizophrenia, of whom a minimum of 25,000 are likely to be untreated at any given time (NIMH prevalence statistics applied to 2010 US Census data).
The state is currently making some of the deepest cuts to mental health services in the country. Arizona cut $108.4 million from its mental health budget between 2009 and 2011, reducing services to about 14,000 Arizona citizens living with mental illness and resulting in the elimination of case management, brand-name medications, access to support groups and housing and transportation subsidies for people living with serious mental illness ("State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis," National Alliance on Mental Illness, March 2011).