(KTXL) — Thursday was the deadline for California counties to choose whether to opt-in to a 19-year-old law meant to save lives and get those with mental challenges the help they need.
Nearly 2 million Californians experience the kind of mental illness that substantially interferes with normal life activities.
Investigators found that one of those struggling with schizophrenia in Placer County back in 2002 killed Laura Wilcox and three other people at Nevada County’s public mental health clinic.
Following her death, Wilcox’s parents led the charge to pass a law allowing those in a current state of mental decline to be ordered into outpatient treatment by a court if a county implements the law.
To qualify, someone must have been hospitalized or incarcerated several times in the last three years or have made threats or acts of violence within the last four years.
“And after Laura was killed, I realized that someone else’s mental health problem became my family’s problem, and how someone else, a person’s mental health problem became our community’s problem,” said Wilcox’s mother, Amanda.
FOX40 reached out to the State Department of Health Care Services, which provided a list of 31 counties that have opted into Laura’s Law. Supervisors in Sacramento County just made that move in May.
Some areas have also filed extensions.