I totally agree with your article and I know from personal experience it is impossible to get someone with a serious mental illness help unless they are a threat to themselves or others.
Another important fact to mention is they have to be exhibiting that they are a threat to themselves or others at the exact time of their evaluation by a mental health professional (usually a social worker) in order for them to qualify.
Many times when someone is so ill that they are paranoid and delusional they may not realize that they are mentally ill. They therefore may not accept or seek treatment.
Why do we have to wait for someone to hurt themselves or someone else for them to get treatment that they might need. Many times when the illness gets to that point it is too late to turn back the clock on the harm the individual may cause him or herself or someone else. We as a society are really turning our backs on the mentally ill. I do not want to see individuals institutionalized who do not need to be, and that may have happened in the past. However there has to be a better solution than sitting on our hands until someone who is obviously mentally ill, talking to themselves, hearing voices, and paranoid, hurts them self or someone else.
Thank you again for your article.