CLEARWATER, Fla., March 29, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog, established by the Church of Scientology and psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, and dedicated to the eradication of abuses committed under the guise of mental health, held an event at their Florida headquarters in downtown Clearwater March 25, 2017 on the abuses of the Baker Act.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fdd1055b-7473-4c97-a592-b989e117f91e

Ms. Renee Jones, an author and mental health counselor, informed guests about one such abuse case.  A young 24 year old man who was Baker Acted and committed to a psychiatric ward died 24 hours after his commitment. “This should not happen to anyone, particularly a young healthy adult who had their whole life ahead of them,” said Ms. Jones.

The keynote speaker for the event, Mrs. Carmen Miller, was the Assistant Public Defender in the Thirteenth Circuit for many years in Tampa.  She is now in the private sector specializing in involuntarily commitment cases under the Baker Act.

“Many parents in the Clearwater and greater Florida area are not aware that their child can be taken out of school and Baker Acted, without their knowledge or consent,” said Mrs. Miller, “People should protect their rights, particularly the elderly and children.”

While one of the original intentions of the Baker Act was to protect the rights of citizens sent for involuntary psychiatric examination, the Act has now become a vehicle for abuse. The complex language of the Baker Act, which CCHR says is difficult for even some attorneys to understand, opens the door to interpretation and puts every citizen of Florida at risk.

At the close of the event, everyone in attendance was given the opportunity to complete an Advance Mental Health Directive under the guidance of attorney Carmen Miller.  This document can help protect the rights of a person who is sent for involuntary examination under the Baker Act. To learn more about the Baker Act or Advance Mental Health Directives, please contact CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820 or visit the website at www.cchrflorida.org

About Citizens Commission On Human Rights:

It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world.  In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed.  All in the name of ‘mental health.’” CCHR was then established to expose mental health abuses and bring violators under the law.  For more information visit, www.cchrflorida.org.

Media Contact:
Diane Stein
President, CCHR Florida
727-442-8820
diane@cchrflorida.org
www.cchrflorida.org