Increased mental health funding on the horizon

LaceyNovember 14, 2013 

Your Nov. 1 story describes a vital, upcoming law that “will make it easier to detain potentially dangerous people for mental health treatment,” without their consent.

Just as good news, is that our state government viz DSHS will be meting out funds for new treatment facilities so that those who are dangerously mentally ill can have an interim placement for evaluation and treatment. As it is now, a panic call to law enforcement often involves an immediate trip to jail. If taken to a hospital, valuable time is lost while making arrangements for an mental health professional to decide whether or not the ill person can be held for 72 hours. But too often, an improper evaluation or having helpful hands tied by the law results in a dangerous person being released to the street (let us never forget the tragic case of Joseph Meline).

I think it is a shame that this law was not implemented when it first came up in 2010 instead of being postponed because of budget cuts. For the safety of the severely mentally ill and the public, I pray that nothing will deter it this time.

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