For the last 43 years, Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) has existed because we believe that people with mental health disabilities deserve dignity, respect, and quality of life. We have fought discrimination and protected the rights of these individuals in order to maximize their autonomy, promote equality, and secure the resources they need to thrive in the community.
These hard-fought rights and protections are currently under threat as medical teams around the country develop plans to ration care among patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. History teaches us – and what we have seen so far from these plans confirms our fears – that people with disabilities are most likely to bear the burden of these rationing measures. In response, MHAS is urging California policymakers and medical providers to act now to stop deadly discrimination against people with mental disabilities before it starts. The lives of people with mental health disabilities are NOT worth less than anyone else’s and disability discrimination is never acceptable.