The list of local tragedies that might have been averted by Laura's Law is growing.
Ina piece he wrote for the Huffington Post yesterday
, Jaffe writes:
"If media reports are true, Scott Dekraai... had bipolar disorder, a history of violence, wouldn't stay on treatment, and was a perfect candidate for Laura's Law except for one fact: Orange County mental health officials -- like mental health officials throughout California -- refuse to implement Laura's Law."
Jaffe, who has a mentally ill relative himself, told theWeekly
that because of the recent tragedies, the topic of treating the mentally ill is still fresh in most people's minds and county officials should therefore act quickly to implement the law. "Unfortunately, nobody wants to help when it's just to help people with mental illness. If there's a victim, then all of the sudden people care," Jaffe says. "It doesn't take incidents like this to get the families to notice this, but it does for the public."
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"We would have liked some sort of help from mental health services, but none came because he would not admit a problem. He was considered an adult even though he could not function as one. We cared about him and we did what we could on our own. He was a big problem, but at this time he was not perceived as dangerous."