Mental Health and Prison
Local groups in Alachua County are teaming up to improve mental health treatment options and give people with mental illness ways to avoid being part of a revolving door that causes many people who need therapy to end up in jail instead.
The local NAMI chapter, Peer Respite Center, Gainesville Opportunity Center as well as community advocates and county officials are in the midst of a push for increased mental health funding and better options for those who need treatment.
Judy Broward, the local NAMI president, commented on the current lack of helpful options saying, "They can either take them to the ER, the CSU unit, or jail...those are the three choices...we might as well just set a pile of money up in the middle of the capitol and burn it."
The efforts have also found a helpful ally in county commisioner Robert Hutchinson, who is aiding the groups. They plan to take their message to Tallahassee early next month.
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