Families often feel as if they are spinning in a revolving door of hospitalizations, relapse and, sometimes, jail and homelessness. There are solutions in the way of laws, called "Kendra's Law" and "Laura's Law," that require court-ordered treatment if certain standards are met. They change from state-to-state. We advocate for a national treatment standard.
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Let us know what additional resources and topics you would like to see addressed by Treatment Before Tragedy. Please share your ideas and insights.
Treatment Advocacy Center provides practical strategies for responding to crisis:
State Standards Charts for Assisted Treatment Civil Commitment Criteria
Families and Psychosis
Why families are important in longterm recovery.
Too often, families feel as if they in a dangerous predicament, afraid that any wrong move, from dialing 911 to not calling for help, could end up with tragic consequences.
When families cannot find a hospital bed for their loved ones who are in an acute episode of serious mental illness, they can often feel as if there is nowhere to go.
The relative of a family with serious mental illness created a guide to services. Please add services that you think other families would appreciate knowing about.
When families feel shut out because of privacy laws or a lack of awareness of the signs of serious mental illness, there are excellent resources created by family members who once felt the same way.
Understanding the Signs of Schizophrenia
Started in 1995 by friends and family of John Chiko, a young man with schizophrenia, schizophrenia.com offers real-life guidance to families.
Understanding the Signs of Bipolar Disorder
Muffy Walker, the mother of a son with bipolar disorder, started the International Bipolar Foundation to those with bipolar and their families.
We advocate for respectful, compassionate, effective treatment and services for those of us with serious mental illness. We plan to create a national network of advocates to help families through the maze of bureaucracies they navigate trying to help loved ones find treatment and services, including housing and jobs.
One of our goals is to see "Laura's Law" in every community in the country. "Laura's Law" allows for court-ordered treatment for people with serious mental illness who meet specific legal standards. It is also called "assisted outpatient treatment," because it doesn't require inpatient treatment, but rather, as the name suggests, outpatient treatment with the assistance of crisis teams. It was named for a 19-year-old woman, Laura Wilcox, who was killed by a man, Scott Thorpe, then 41, with a serious mental illness who was not taking his medication, despite his family's desperate efforts. We believe it is everyone's civil right to get medical treatment when we need it.
San Francisco has moved to pass "Laura's Law" to be a more "compassionate city." Its leaders know the country has a moral duty to get help to those with serious mental illness and their families. Thank you, San Francisco.