Bill Seeks To Allow Parents To Compel Unwilling Teenagers To Accept Mental Health Treatment


WHNT News 19 sat down with Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) Monday to have a conversation about mental health and teens.  Ball hopes to spread that conversation all the way to Montgomery.

He says, “A lot of times a good way to get the dialogue going and try to find the best solution is to try to drop a bill in, and drop a bill I did.”

The bill, HB178, notes that kids over fourteen can turn down healthcare, including mental treatment, requested by parents.

This bill would allow parents to compel children under eighteen to receive care that the parents request.

Ball says, “The last thing in most circumstances that we want to do is shut parents out.  There are exigent circumstances where you might have a parent that has some problems of their own that probably needs to be.  But the default position of the law should be that parents need to be involved with their children.”

Ball says discussing the issue in Montgomery should help flesh out the healthiest approach to it.

He knows they still have talk about the best ways to make this happen, but he believes it’s an important conversation for the legislature to have.

It all comes back to a simple truism from Ball, “With troubled children, we need more parental involvement, not less.”


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