Laura’s Law is a state law that enables counties to seek court-ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) for people with serious mental disorders. Several counties have chosen to create Laura’s Law treatment programs for residents having difficulty accepting mental health treatment voluntarily.
Stanislaus County is exploring the issue and has conducted five community meetings to get public input. Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is heading the effort. Residents can also provide their input by taking an online survey.
“It’s important that we get all the facts about Laura’s Law,” stated BHRS Director Richard DeGette.
To access the survey in English, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LauraLaw.
To access the survey in Spanish, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LauraLawSp.
Feedback will be taken through June 25, 2017.
The online survey is to be completed only by residents who did not attend the community forums as those individuals already completed paper surveys. The goal is to ensure fidelity and reliability of the data gathering. Multiple responses from one individual cannot be accepted.
The community survey is part of a countywide fact-finding effort to educate the public and get a better understanding of the law. Stanislaus County has hired a consulting firm to oversee the process.
California counties have the option to implement Laura’s Law with local funding. Participating counties are required to provide prescribed assisted outpatient services that are client directed and employ psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery principles.
The law would apply to individuals who suffer from mental illness and repeatedly get arrested or hospitalized due to their failure to stay in treatment. Under the law, individuals would be court ordered to engage in AOT.
The feedback will help provide needed information to make recommendations to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors that could be used to formulate a policy if the board chooses to adopt Laura’s Law.