Re-designing state mental health policy to prevent the use of seclusion and restraint

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2006 Jul;33(4):482-91. doi: 10.1007/s10488-005-0011-5.


: The members of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) believe that seclusion and restraint, including "chemical restraints," are safety interventions of last resort and are not treatment interventions. Seclusion and restraint should never be used for the purposes of discipline, coercion, or staff convenience, or as a replacement for adequate levels of staff or active treatment. The use of seclusion and restraint creates significant risks for people with psychiatric disabilities. These risks include serious injury or death, retraumatization of people who have a history of trauma, and loss of dignity and other psychological harm. In light of these potential serious consequences, seclusion and restraint should be used only when there exists an imminent risk of danger to the individual or others and no other safe and effective intervention is possible. (Endorsed by the State Mental Health Directors, July 13, 1999). (NASMHPD 1999, NASMHPD Position Statement on Seclusion and Restraint. Alexandria, VA: National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning.).

MeSH terms

  • Health Policy*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / ethics
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders
  • Patient Isolation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Restraint, Physical / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States