Book review: 'Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care'

Committed book cover

Committed (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016) is a compact exploration of the policies—as there are no standard best practices—that medical and mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel turn to when forcing somebody into psychiatric care.

It's a bracingly judicious study, as Miller and Hanson, both faculty members in the School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, include patients' experiences in this discussion. Forced treatment can help people experiencing mental health crises, but it can also be traumatic. The book works toward suggesting how this process can be improved, including maintaining a national database of patients committed against their will, which currently doesn't exist.