Connecticut is one of a handful of states in America that does not have an “assisted outpatient treatment” law. Under AOT laws, like the kind proposed and ignored earlier this year in Connecticut, states can force a mentally ill person into treatment if there is a risk of harm to others. Without them, states typically cannot institutionalize someone unless they’ve already done harm to themselves or others.

Confusion occurs because there isn’t a uniform code used for involuntary confinement.

In New Hampshire, for example, a doctor’s note is enough to trigger an initial confinement but the person requesting the lock-up must then present evidence before a district judge within three days showing probable cause or the patient walks…

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the national average for spending on mental health services is $109 a person. Texas spends just $36 and ranks last in the country. The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking for a $100 million increase in their budget but the likelihood of that happening is slim. In their last session, state lawmakers cut $25 million from mental health programs.