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County supes adopt Laura's Law

 

By Bay City News Service

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to implement Laura's Law, which allows courts to order outpatient treatment for those over 18 years old with severe mental illnesses who may be a danger to themselves and others.

The implementation of the legislation, named after Laura Wilcox, a mental health worker in Nevada County who was killed by a man who had refused psychiatric treatment, will start out gradually with a one-year trial basis, county officials said.

State legislators already passed Laura's Law when it was known as the Assisted Outpatient Demonstration Project Act of 2002, but individual counties are required to approve its application.

According to Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, by adopting Laura's Law, San Mateo County will fill the gap between putting individuals under a conservatorship and leaving individuals who may be in need completely without treatment.

Laura's Law may apply to those who have been hospitalized two or more times in the last three years because of mental illness, have demonstrated violent behavior toward themselves or others in the past four years, have been offered treatment on a voluntary basis and refused it, and are deteriorating mentally.

Last year, San Francisco and Contra Costa counties passed Laura's Law. Alameda County's Board of Supervisors held a hearing on the issue last year but has not approved implementation of the legislation.

For San Mateo County, implementing the program will cost about $1.3 million, including $89,500 in one-time start-up costs during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, followed by $2.4 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The San Mateo County Health System recommended that the Board of Supervisors vote in favor of Laura's Law after its application in Orange County showed an increase in people voluntarily seeking aid.

"We want to use every tool available to us to provide the services that our residents living with mental illness need to have fulfilling lives," health system chief Jean Fraser said in a statement. "If the passage of Laura's Law encourages more family members to reach out to us for help with their loved ones, then it will serve a good purpose."

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley said he witnessed the positive outcomes of such a program where minor offenders were released from jail and ordered into treatment.

He said he expects "a decrease in ER admissions, arrests and jail, suicides, and the incidents of acting out" with the implementation of Laura's

Law.

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Posted by County Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:30 am

The YouTube video of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting that took place in Redwood City on Tuesday, June 16, is posted at: Web Link The Laura's Law portion of the meeting took place in slightly less than a half an hour, from 1 hour, 31 minutes and 35 seconds until 1 hour, 58 minutes and 50 seconds.

The first part of the Laura’s Law proceeding consisted of the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division of the Health System Director's report on Orange County's responses to the questions posed by the Supervisors during their May 19 meeting, from 1 hour, 31 minutes and 35 seconds until 1 hour, 38 minutes and 40 seconds.

The second part of the proceeding consisted of a conversation between the Director and individual Supervisors, from 1 hour, 38 minutes and 40 seconds until 1 hour, 47 minutes and 40 seconds. The County Manager interjected with planning and budgeting details from 1 hour, 42 minutes and 40 seconds until 1 hour, 44 minutes and 17 seconds.

The third part of the proceeding consisted of the Public Comments of three speakers, from 1 hour, 47 minutes and 40 seconds until 1 hour, 54 minutes and 19 seconds.

The fourth and final part of the proceeding was a discussion among the Supervisors that took place before they voted, from 1 hour, 54 minutes and 19 seconds until 1 hour, 58 minutes and 50 seconds.

Please thank your Supervisor for voting to implement Laura’s Law and ask them how you can help resolve any questions they might have so that they can fully implement Laura’s Law as quickly as possible.

Dave Pine is the Supervisor for District 1, which includes Millbrae, Burlingame, Hillsborough and the unincorporated San Mateo Highlands, much of South San Francisco mostly east of Junipero Serra Boulevard and much of San Bruno, south of Sneath Lane and west of Interstate 280. It used to include San Mateo (west portion, adjacent to Hillsborough), Hillsborough, Burlingame, Millbrae, San Bruno, South San Francisco (east of El Camino Real, Burlingame Hills, Highlands/Baywood Park and San Francisco Airport.

Carole Groom is the new President of the Board and Supervisor for District 2, which includes San Mateo, Foster City and much of Belmont. It used to include San Mateo, Foster City and Belmont, north of Ralston Avenue until recently. She lives in the northern part of San Mateo and was moved back into her district when the Board of Supervisors rejected all three of the maps recommended by its Advisory Committee and adopted one that includes her residence.

Don Horsley is the Supervisor for District 3, which includes Atherton, San Carlos, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Woodside, Portola Valley and a part of Menlo Park, mostly west of El Camion Real as well as the unincorporated communities of Emerald Lake Hills along with the coastside. It used to include Atherton, Emerald Lake Hills, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, the Rural Coast/Skyline area and Belmont, south of Ralston Ave until recently. He lives in the Emerald Hills area of Redwood City.

Warren Slocum is the Supervisor for District 4, which includes Redwood City, East Palo Alto and much of Menlo Park along with the unincorporated North Fair Oaks community. It used to include East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City.

Adrienne Tissier is the Supervisor for District 5, which includes Brisbane, Colma, Daly City, the northwest section of San Bruno and part of South San Francisco west of Junipero Serra Boulevard along with unincorporated Broadmoor. It used to include Brisbane, Colma, Daly City and South San Francisco, west of El Camino Real.


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