Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Cycle that Never Seems to Quit

Transitioning to adulthood is especially difficult for our children with SPMI and turning 18 can trigger a never ending cycle of jail and hospitalizations. Becoming a legal adult overnight can cause some parents to lose a child, literally. 

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) could bridge this gap, but - unfortunately - it looks like it will take a change at our State's highest administrative level for this to ever happen in the Tennessee.

Doug Varney, Gov. Haslam's appointed Commissioner of Mental Health, is adamantly against any type of mandatory treatment for people with untreated serious and persistent mental illness - even though it is a well known fact that Tennessee is only one of 6 states in our entire country without AOT laws on the books.  

It's stories like this that reinforces the need for families to be able to intervene for their loved ones: 


A mentally ill Orange County teen who had been missing since his release from jail  this month has been located, after he was arrested by Santa Ana police, his family said.
Matthew Hoff's family posted on the Facebook page "Matthew We Miss You Please Come Home"that the missing teen had been arrested Tuesday by Santa Ana police.
"Matthew is OK!" the post said.
"It is great news and we will be able to sleep tonight knowing our son is safe. BUT ... it's just the beginning again with this CYCLE that does not quit."
Hoff, 18, was apparently arrested on suspicion of having narcotics, his family wrote in a Facebook post, and later confirmed by email.
His family and authorities have been searching for him since he was released from a 60-day jail stay at 4 a.m. on Feb. 7.
His mother told The Times that Hoff had been in custodial treatment for severe mental illness for most of his adolescence, but had to leave the system when he turned 18. During the two-month jail term for taking things from a neighbor's car, his family said, he went off of his medication.

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