Laura's Law can help mentally ill

07/18/2014 11:07 AM

07/18/2014 9:22 AM

Re "Families must step up and care for mentally ill" (Viewpoints, July 15): It's unnecessary to suggest that families take more responsibility for mentally ill loved ones. They struggle with the problem every day.

Unfortunately, they and mental health experts are hampered by a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that involuntary hospitalization and/or treatment violates an individual's civil rights. There is hope that some mentally ill persons will benefit from involuntary mental health treatment under Laura's Law, passed as AB 1421 in 2002. Unfortunately, it can only be implemented when a county adopts it. So far, only Nevada, Yolo, Orange and San Francisco counties have adopted the law. Placer County has not.

The Bee should continue to support passage of AB 1421 by all the counties. It is the only hope for families dealing with a mentally ill loved one.

-- Rich McKone, Lincoln

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