How a Bad Law and a Big Mistake Drove My Mentally Ill Son Away – by Norman Ornstein – NYT

“Ever since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., law enforcement and other officials have been calling for changes in the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows involuntary commitment for 72 hours of people who are an imminent danger to themselves or others. If the Baker Act had been easier to deploy, they think, Nikolas Cruz, the accused shooter, would have been taken and treated before his horrible act.

However this law may be reformed, it will never be able to get people with serious mental illness the treatment they need.

I know something about the Baker Act. About halfway through my son Matthew’s decade-long struggle with serious mental illness, my wife and I invoked the Baker Act against him.”

Here is the top comment, I recommended:

A Mom

Albany, NY, area 15 hours ago

Dear Prof. Ornstein, I am so sorry for your loss. I am writing this as I sit in the hospital next to the bed of my 25-year-old daughter, who suffers from mental illness. They are kicking her out (sending her home) after an emergency psych evaluation. You are correct the system is broken. In just a few months she will no longer have my health insurance. The job she has doesn’t provide anything like what she needs. And I am terrified for her. You are correct, 90 days isn’t enough time. She’s only had a week of intensive inpatient care. Once. She managed to flit from one provider to another, none of whom has had her long enough to find out who she is let alone what her problems are. None of them ever asked her family about her history. This time it’s just an evaluation and home we go. Take your meds. Make a safety plan. We need comprehensive care, not nickels and dimes. And it sure won’t happen under this administration. Best wishes for your own healing.

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