- Last Updated: 10:32 PM, August 16, 2012
- Posted: 10:29 PM, August 16, 2012
The Issue: Keeping the public safe from violent, mentally ill individuals through better treatment.
Michael Benjamin presents a measured response to the recent tragic killings involving people with serious mental impairments (“Help Them Before They Kill,” PostOpinion, Aug. 14).
Legislative proposals to “fix the holes” in Kendra’s Law have been fraught with issues. The required study of the law was inconclusive on whether court-ordered treatment is more effective than voluntary methods, which have reported improved outcomes.
In fact, almost 50 percent of individuals receiving treatment under Kendra’s Law do so voluntarily.
Community-based providers have undergone multiple budget cuts and payment reforms since the law was first enacted.
It is past time to strengthen this system, with the goal of improving outcomes and using service dollars more effectively.
for Policy & Advocacy
Coalition of Behavioral
Identifying and treating mental illness saves lives — including those of the people who have been diagnosed.
Measures like Kendra’s Law can help make that happen before another tragedy opens our eyes.
My 30-year-old son Ben, who receives treatment for schizophrenia, is now a Dean’s List college student, after having dropped out of high school as his illness developed.
He has held a job for almost 18 months. A miracle? Yes, but it happened with treatment, services and an educated, supportive family.
Without treatment? I shudder to think.
Ben is not violent by nature, thank goodness, but without treatment, he could be in jail, homeless or a victim of violence.
Benjamin has written an excellent piece. Let’s hope those who create and uphold laws will listen and act.
I totally agree with Benjamin, but where were the media when state mental hospitals were being shut down decades ago?
Where were the media when the mentally ill lived in the train and bus stations?
No one ever asked what became of the people who worked at those mental hospitals and lost their jobs.
Those hospitals were in rural areas where they were likely the only sources of a good job.
Decades later, it’s time to revisit the story of the mentally ill in our society.Kathy Chambers