Opinion

Letter: CHP shot man suffering from mental illness. We must provide better care

Re “Was this man a threat to the CHP officer who shot him? Newly released video raises questions” (sacbee.com, Sept. 27): This is another all too frequent, perhaps preventable, tragic event involving a mentally ill person. I'll bet he was not participating in psychiatric treatment. Unfortunately, current law virtually prohibits involuntary treatment. It assumes mentally ill individuals have the capacity to rationally decide whether they need treatment. Ask any family with a mentally ill loved one or any cop if they think involuntary mental health treatment should be required. I'll bet they would all support laws that forced people with severe mentally illness into treatment. It would be in everyone's best interest to be able to require mentally loved ones to participate in treatment. How many more unnecessary deaths will have to occur before we finally get the desperately needed legislation? Where is the mental treatment community advice on this important issue?

Rich McKone, Lincoln

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