Police, Parents Learning To Better Handle Mental Illness
And in Arizona, a judge approved an agreement to expand services for the people with serious mental illnesses, ending a 30-year-old class action lawsuit.
NPR: As Run-Ins Rise, Police Take Crash Courses On Handling Mentally Ill
A number of high-profile police shootings, including that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last month, have led to increased scrutiny of police interactions with civilians. One group that is disproportionately subject to police uses of force is people with mental illness. Many local departments hold special sessions to train officers about mental illness and how to help the people they interact with. Walking up and down the aisle of a police academy classroom in downtown St. Louis, Lt. Perri Johnson tells the officers here that responding to calls where a person is in mental distress is never easy (Bouscaren, 9/23).
CBS News: 'Every Mom’s Worst Nightmare': Coping With A Child’s Mental Illness
It was Dec. 14, 2012, and Liza Long headed to work at Carrington College-Boise. It was just another Friday morning until Long, the mother of four children, logged on to Facebook, where news of a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was just beginning to emerge. "I just put my head down on my desk and started to cry," Long, 42, told CBS News. But it wasn't that Long knew any of the families that had lost a child. "I had children about that age too. It's every mom's worst nightmare. But I realized right away it's every mom's worst nightmare on two fronts, not just one." Her first thought, she later wrote, was "What if my son does that someday?" (Firger and Augenbraun, 9/22).
Arizona Republic: Judge Ends Long-Running Behavioral-Health Suit
A judge Monday committed to the history books a long-running lawsuit that redefines how services are delivered to the seriously mentally ill in Maricopa County. With his signature, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Bassett ended the Arnold vs. Sarn case. His action drew cheers from Gov. Jan Brewer, who had made it a priority to settle the case that has rattled around the courts since 1981, when behavioral-health advocates filed a class-action lawsuit (Pitzl, 9/22).
The Associated Press: Judge OKs Agreement Ending 30-Year-Old Mental Health Suit
A Maricopa County judge on Monday signed off on an agreement that increases housing, employment and other services for the seriously mentally ill. Judge Edward Bassett's action came as he dismissed a lawsuit filed more than 30 years ago challenging the state's funding of mental health services. The terms of the agreement reached in January between Gov. Jan Brewer and lawyers for the mentally ill will apply statewide. No money will be spent beyond an extra $39 million a year pumped into the system more than two years ago as part of an interim agreement ending the lawsuit. The expansion of Medicaid in Arizona that began Jan. 1 will pay for some of the additional costs. Brewer celebrated the dismissal, saying the deal provides needed treatment and puts in place a model community-based behavioral health system (Christie, 9/22).