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Involuntary commitment for treatment, does it help? / Traveling while black

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer and Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis | Feb 8, 2019 4:04 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, February 8, 2019:

A new state law makes it easier to commit someone with a mental illness to get treatment through a process called "assisted outpatient treatment." The law, called Act 106, takes effect in April.

Its supporters say it will help people who have serious illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. They say similar laws have proven successful in other states.  

However, some long-time mental health sector workers say the law has some flaws.

On one side are those who worry the law may go too far, compromising a person's civil rights and turning them away from mental health services in the future.

There are also those who say the law doesn't go far enough--that it lacks key provisions to make sure someone follows the treatment program.

Funding woes add to their concerns that counties will be ill-equipped to succeed with this law.

As part of Transforming Health's series on mental health issues in Pennsylvania, called Through the Cracks, reporter Brett Sholtis joins us on Friday's Smart Talk to discuss. 

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As part of Transforming Health's series on mental health issues around Pennsylvania, called Through the Cracks, reporter Brett Sholtis.

Also, for many Americans, wandering the nation's highways and byways is an opportunity to express one of the greatest parts of our freedom; traveling without limitations.  

For some, however, traveling is filled with risk. African-Americans have experienced unique dangers and harassment traveling in our country, so in the early twentieth century a Harlem postal worker created a guide to help them navigate the cultural landscape.  

The Negro Motorist Green Book was created in 1936 and republished every year until 1967. The book was a guide to help black travelers find restaurants, gas stations, hotels and service establishments that would welcome them.  

Appearing on Friday's Smart Talk to discuss the challenges of "traveling while black" is Dickinson College Professor Cotten SeilerHe's the author of Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America. 

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Dickinson College Professor, Dr. Cotten Sieler, author of Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America.

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