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Laura's Law Implementation in Placer County




Placer County became the sixth county in California Tuesday to implement Laura's Law - a state statute that authorizes court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment of residents with severe mental illness in some cases.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a resolution authorizing implementation of Laura's Law. As required by state law, the resolution also protects existing voluntary mental health services for adults and children, saying the county will not need to reduce them in order to implement the new program.

Board Chairman Jack Duran commended the Health and Human Services Department for its foresight in leading the drive to bring the law to Placer County and for working with the Placer County Superior Court and other agencies to plan for its implementation.

"It's something that's going to make our county a better place to live," said Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery.

"This has been a long time coming," added Supervisor Jim Holmes.

Representatives from several different community and professional organizations urged the board to approve the resolution.

Speakers from HHS and community groups emphasized that recovery from severe mental illness is possible, particularly with early, effective treatment. They noted that residents with serious mental illness often do not seek treatment and lack insight into the nature of their illness. 

Implementation of Placer County's new program is scheduled to start next January. HHS estimated treatment costs will be approximately $400,000 per year, noting that the state and federal governments will cover 100 percent of the costs. State funding is available as a result of legislation authored by California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg in 2012 that explicitly authorized funding mental health services provided under Laura's Law with revenue from Proposition 63, a measure approved by state voters in 2004 that now is commonly known as the California Mental Health Services Act.

The law was named after Laura Wilcox, a student intern at the Nevada County Behavioral Health clinic who was shot and killed in 2001 by a client who had discontinued treatment.

Nevada County Director of Health Michael Heggarty addressed Tuesday's meeting of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, emphasizing that the law has been very successful in his county.

He noted that about 80 people have received assisted outpatient treatment in Nevada County since Laura's Law went into effect. Many are no longer homeless and are staying out of jail and hospital emergency rooms. Almost all of them have agreed to take their medications.

Heggarty said Nevada County had no way to engage residents in that group before Laura's Law. "Mostly, what we had to do was wait for something really bad to happen," he told the board.

Placer County offers a continuum of voluntary mental health services through Health and Human Services. In a report to the board, HHS noted that assisted outpatient treatment will fill a gap in the county's continuum of care by providing a new tool for treating residents with severe mental illness that is less restrictive than conservatorship or locked inpatient care.  

Laura's Law authorizes court-ordered intensive outpatient treatment of adults with severe mental illness who refuse voluntary treatment if their conditions are deteriorating substantially and their mental illness has resulted in:
* Them being hospitalized or jailed at least twice in the preceding 36 months; or
* Violence or attempted violence against themselves or others within the last 48 months.

Assisted outpatient treatment can be requested for an individual by:
* Immediate family members who are adults;
* Adults who reside with the individual;
* The director of a hospital, facility or other organization that is treating the individual;
* A licensed mental health professional treating the person; or
* A police, parole or probation officer.

HHS officials told the board they assume about 20 residents will be referred to the Laura's Law program annually, emphasizing that some will agree to be treated while court orders will be needed to treat others. Participants will receive individually tailored treatment plans that include mental and physical health, substance abuse, employment and housing services.





Placer County News Headlines

BottleRock Napa Valley 2018 Lineup and Single Day Passes NAPA, CA- Single day general admission and VIP passes for the sixth annual BottleRock Napa Valley music, wine, food and craft brew festival, presented by JaM Cellars on May 25 - 27, 2018

Toyota C-HR, a stylish new subcompact SUV unveiledRoseville, CA- The all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR, a subcompact crossover sport utility vehicle that is similar to a hatchback.

Roseville Gas Prices Up: Where You Can Save MoneyRoseville, CA,- Residents in Roseville and throughout Placer County have watched as gas prices have pushed upward to being the new year.

WJU Warriors Clinch First Conference Win over HopeROCKLIN, Calif. - The Lady Warriors took Horton Court for the second time this week, last taking on No. 1 in the nation,

Roseville Teacher Under Investigation for Sexual Harassment Following ArticleRoseville, CA- An email went out this morning in Roseville addressing concerns over a Roseville teacher who is under investigation relating to allegations of sexual harassment and unprofessional behavior

Placer County Appoints New CEOAuburn, CA,- Following a nationwide search, Placer County has selected Todd Leopold as its new county executive officer.

Rocklin completes purchase of former Sunset Whitney Golf ClubRocklin, CA,- The City of Rocklin has completed the purchase of approximately 184 acres of land that was previously the site of the Rocklin Golf Club

Former Roseville Mayor Rocky Rockholm DiesRoseville, CA,- Former Roseville Mayor and Placer County District I Supervisor F.C. "Rocky" Rockholm passed away yesterday after a short illness at the age of 73.

3,200 False Burglar Alarms in Roseville in One YearThe Roseville Police Department responded to approximately 3,200 false burglar alarms in 2016. That's an average of 8.75 service calls every day of the year for a non-crime purpose

Placer SPCA Searches for the Hero Next DoorRoseville, Calif. - Placer SPCA is seeking nominations for the 2018 Hero Awards, to be presented at the 17th Annual Funny Bones Comedy Show & Awards Night

Placer Community Foundation's 2018 Scholarship Applications Placer Community Foundation invites local high school seniors and current college students to apply for scholarship awards for the 2018-2019 year

BottleRock Napa Valley Sells Out of 3-Day Festival PassesNAPA, CA - January 9, 2018: BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has announced that all 3-day passes for the sixth annual music, wine, food and craft brew festival have sold out.


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