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Help Us Protect PAIMI

Congress is threatening the civil rights of people with mental illness. We need your help to stop them!ProtectPAIMI

Here's what's happening.

Earlier this year, Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The bill seeks to improve the mental health system in the United States and we agree that there are problems that need to be fixed. But H.R. 2646 attacks one of the most successful programs for helping people with mental illness who are being abused, neglected or experiencing violations of their human and civil rights.

That program is called Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI). It provides children and adults living with psychiatric disabilities with independent advocates. These advocates offer a range of support including legal advice for navigating our complicated mental health system, defense against discrimination in education, employment, and housing, and, most importantly, monitors and investigates instances of abuse and neglect so that people who do seek help are safe.

We cannot let Congress dismantle this greatly needed and highly successful program. Please join our campaign to #ProtectPAIMI.

"They treat you like a dog."


Louise Worrell and Vietress Bacon were living in unsafe and unsanitary facilities. That is until PAIMI advocates helped them regain their freedom and independence.


Watch this video to hear the stories of two women helped by PAIMI and learn more about the PAIMI program.


"I don’t want to be forced to be naked anymore."

Shaking and terrified, Barb looked at the PAIMI attorney and said, “Please help me.”

With those words, Barb hired the Kansas PAIMI program to represent her, engaged their special investigative authority under federal law and started a chain reaction that led to shutting down the abusive group home known as Kaufman House. Because of Barb's bravery and the PAIMI program, the operators of the Kaufman House are now in federal prison for perpetrating bizarre and terrible sexual and physical abuse, and even involuntary slavery. Read more about what happened at the Kaufman House.

If the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) had been law, PAIMI advocates would have been prohibited from helping Barb and she would still be suffering horrific abuse at the hands of her captors. You can help the survivors of the Kaufman House and others like them by telling your Representative to protect the PAIMI program. Click here to send a letter.

Information and Background

Support for PAIMI

H.R. 2646- Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 - 114th Congress


H.R. 3717 - Helping Families in  Mental Heath Crisis Act of 2013 - 113th Congress

PAIMI Successes


  • Campaign for Real Mental Health Change
  • Recovery Now -
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law – IOC Myths and Facts sheet (April 2014)
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law – “Wrong Focus – Mental Health in the Gun Safety Debate” (April 2013)
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Murphy Bill impact based on race - 2013
  • Racial Disparities in Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: Are They Real? Article in Health Affairs May 2009
  • Testimony: Extending Kendra's Law - New York Civil Liberties
  • Civil and Human Rights concerns with  Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (H.R. 2646) – Nov. 2015
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