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Office of General Counsel

TDMHSAS Position Statement: Isolation and Restraint

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in concert with consumer advocacy groups and mental health organizations, asserts the right of service recipients of mental health care to be free from isolation (seclusion) and restraints. Tennesseans value this right so strongly that the right is codified in statute (T.C.A. 33-3-120. Isolation and restraints prohibited).

Rules have been promulgated in Rules of Department of Mental Health Division of Mental Health Services Chapter 0940-3-6 Hospital Isolation and Restraint and Division of Mental Health Services Chapter 0940-3-9 Use of Isolation, Mechanical Restraint, and Physical Holding Restraint in Mental Health Residential Treatment Facilities.

TDMHSAS adopts the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Position Statement on Seclusion and Restraint.

TDMHSAS believes that the utilization of isolation or restraint reflects unsuccessful treatment planning and implementation and should be utilized only as an emergency safety measure. The department emphasizes that should emergency measures need to be taken, the safety, privacy, and dignity of the person shall be preserved.

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