Thursday, February 26, 2015

Letters of support for HB65 pour in from families across KY

I would like to urge each of you to become familiar with and support the passage of HB65 - sponsored by Representative Tom Burch. This bill, relating to court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment, would vastly improve our current system of treating the mentally ill, which is to "warehouse" them in jails when they refuse to be treated.

As the parent of a 36-year old daughter who was diagnosed with Bipolar II and Severe Anxiety Disorder in 2001, I can attest to the toll it takes on those of us who act as caregivers for loved ones who suffer with a mental disorder. More importantly, our current system prevents thousands of mentally ill individuals from receiving the treatment they need in order to deal with their disorder.

Please consider the financial savings that can be realized by having a "system" in place to treat those who, because of their illness, are unable to commit themselves to treatment. Rather than "storing" these individuals in jails, where they cost the taxpayers huge sums of money, do not receive treatment and, when released, find themselves back on the streets where they are soon re-arrested and the cycle continues, let's establish an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) System which works to help those who suffer from these horrible diseases.

I urge you to let Kentucky follow the lead of North Carolina, New York, Ohio and California in providing Court Ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment for our mentally ill. Treatment before tragedy...It's the right thing to do.


Larry C. Souder

Colonel, USAF, Retired

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