Advocacy E-News May 19, 2015
May 19, 2015
STATE ANNOUNCES NEW INVOLUNTARY OUTPATIENT COMMITMENT PROGRAMS
The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has made 4 awards to create Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) programs that will serve Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties. These programs coordinate community based mental health services for individuals, who have been court ordered into mental health treatment. With these awards every New Jersey County now has an IOC program.
STATE ISSUES BULLETIN CALLING FOR COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES
The Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS) has published a New Administrative Bulletin 4:12 Collaboration with Families of Patients who are Hospitalized in New Jersey State Psychiatric Hospitals; Family Partnership Program. The purpose of the Bulletin is to assure that “state hospital policies and procedures are uniformly supportive of families and encourage their active collaboration in addressing the needs of their relatives who are hospitalized”. Among the items covered are participation in treatment and discharge planning, circumstances where disclosure to families can be made without written consent and the formation of family advisory and or monitoring groups for each state psychiatric hospital.
NEW JERSEY PROSECUTOR PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON MENTAL ILLNESS
In 2003, Bernard A. King suffocated to death while face down and shackled to a bed post at the Gloucester County jail. What happened next led the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office to create a mental health committee that same year to study ways to improve law enforcement’s response to people with mental illness. The group meets monthly and has since instituted programs to train police, steer people toward professional help, and assist mentally ill inmates as they transition back into the community.
HIGH COURT: POLICE IMMUNE OVER ARREST OF MENTALLY ILL WOMAN
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police are immune from a lawsuit arising from the arrest and shooting of a mentally ill woman in San Francisco. But the justices left undecided the question of whether police must take special precautions when arresting armed and violent people suffering from mental illness.
The case involved a 2008 incident in which two police officers forced their way into Teresa Sheehan’s room at a group home and shot her five times after she came at them with a knife. Sheehan claimed the officers should have used less confrontational tactics because they are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.