Personal liberty vs mental health detention

GruntDoc on why the Virginia Tech shootings can happen again:

Here in Texas, there’s a great emphasis on personal liberty (“It’s not against the law to be crazy”), and that’s good the vast majority of the time. There is indeed an emergency mental health code for the psychotic, deranged and suicidal, and it’s not easy to utilize. There is no simple form, but a multipage affidavit that has to be signed by a judge prior to holding a patient for involuntary psychiatric evaluation, and that’s assuming you can get an officer to initiate the form in the first place (mere physicians cannot). For a police officer to begin the paperwork, the patient must be in imminent danger of harm to self or others due to mental illness.

And, there’s the rub. As the patient is in an ED, the cops tell us’they’re not in imminent danger, as they’re here in the ED’, and they refuse to initiate a hold . . . they’re just not going to even try.

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