Mental health court is a court paid for by the government which offers second chances to those with mental issues in Duval County, Florida. However, many people are left wondering if it is worth the investment in taxpayer’s money. One woman reported to Action News in Jacksonville that yes, it is worth every penny of the investment, and yes, it helps to keep mentally ill patients safe.
The woman, who would not be identified, shared her story. She lost everything, from her family to her home, and even her mind. She stated that she wasn’t all there when her story began in 2008. She was Baker-acted, or forced to undergo medical treatment, twice. Her family refused to believe she had a mental health issue and that she was on drugs, so she was forced to undergo medical testing and treatments for drugs she wasn’t using.
She was finally allowed into the mental health court in 2011, when she trespassed on purpose to get caught. She was living on the street and wanted a place to sleep, food, and some basic comforts taken for granted by other people. She walked into an apartment building then called the cops on herself, where she signed a paper without knowing what it was.
It was a document stating that her case was being diverted to a mental health court, where John Sampson is a magistrate. John stated that the idea behind the court is to keep people out of already overcrowded prisons when they really should be receiving psychiatric help. The mental health court is reserved for those who need convictions of help, not convictions of arrest. Diagnosis is necessary for the court, but it can come before or after incarceration.
The program is working, with 99 people out of 162 completing programs since 2008. Only 11 percent of that 99 have been arrested again.
Imagine if this type of program caught on across the country. Mental illness would no longer be a crime, it would be a curable disease. The program is working in Florida; hopefully it catches on and is available elsewhere in the future.
Contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency to find out what types of mental health options are available in Washington and Oregon state.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.