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

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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.”


  • meghan2014

    I have a child that has a bipolar disorder. And the meds he takes keeps him out of jail. But my child has problems in school with being picked on. And in my opinion I think that if a child has mental problems then they do not have the right to refuse medication that can help them. They need to be at least age 18. Because no 15 or 16 nor 17 year old is a adult.

    • Red

      You would be wise to not put so much faith in the drugs that are commonly prescribed for people with mental illnesses. I have seen clear evidence of them doing far more harm than good. Any kind of drug that is forced to warn you of a “risk of suicidal ideation” or “increased risk of suicide” is something that you should not just trust implicitly.

  • MMA

    Thats why there is a “juvenile detention center” for those under the age of majority. The Robert Neeves center on Cook Avenue.

    • Red

      Maybe you misunderstand the distinction between an unruly or undisciplined kid and a kid with a genuine mental health issue. Maybe you are one of these simpletons that doesn’t think there is even a difference.

  • DEA

    NO child tells a parent what is best for them. Your comment (Red) is stupid. These brats need discipline that are “unruly”. I’m all for treatment, but children that tell their parents what to do, need stern discipline. If that fails, lock “em up!!! The undisciplined parent needs to be dealt with as well if they don’t instill discipline in their children. Red, you don’t have a clue.

  • Wake Up

    Alabama has one of the worst levels of general health care. Where is the funding for mental health for the increased demand that this legislation will create? Our Governor refuses to extend medicaid that would fund mental health for tens of thousands of uninsured Alabamians. Obamacare will pay 100% of the expansion for the first three years, and 90% forever after that time. That means that the state will be responsible for 10% of the cost. We now are responsible for 40% (government funding 60%).

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