Michael LaRosa, in Court on Murder Charges, Gets Sent for a Competency Evaluation

Comments

1
The question isn't about funding but the war between the rights of the individual and the safety of society and who is qualified to decide who should be put into involuntary care. In the days when we put more people into state hospitals against their will, we as a society railed against the infringement of personal freedoms. There is no easy solution, and once liberal vs. conservative ideology becomes involved it only gets more complicated.
2
Maybe he should just claim he's an artist and likes to whittle heads with hatchets?
3
@1, funding mental health services would make a million times fewer people wind up before a judge concerned they're a danger to themselves or others.

This does not begin at the courthouse door.
4
@3: But he was already using services under SMH (Sound Mental Health)... so lack of funding wasn't the case here.

Changing societal attitudes about mental health might help, but increasing funding wouldn't necessarily change early access to services -- utilization of services frequently DOES start as a mandate of probation.
5
@4, the paradigm's all busted here. SMH is fabulous, and they'd be the first to tell you they IN NO WAY should be used as evidence of proper social funding of comprehensive mental health care. In a decently funded scenario SMH would be a last resort, not a point of entry for care.
6
@3: Having said that, I think community mental health services are important, but saying this tragedy happened because of cuts isn't exactly accurate. I think we need more funding, but we also we need to bring an honest eye to the ways in which the current system is failing regardless of budget. I think an increase in institutionalization might be a good start, as well as looking at the medication regimes we're using for treatment and ways in which they could be improved in order to facilitate compliance and quality of life.
7
@5: i definitely agree with that -- the current paradigm needs to change. More money would be a good start, as well as a more proactive stance. By the time we get to med management and adult day treatment, we're often fighting an uphill battle. (I don't work in community mental health, just know a lot of folks that do.)
8
@7, I'm with you - and we must remember that even looking at a revamp costs huge money. Then there's the planning, and the implementation, and oy.
9
Conceivable that spotty use of the drug(s) he had been prescribed was worse than none at all in his case. Can some enlightened person, maybe his brother, please tell us which drug(s). It affected the community. We have a right to know.