The Latest – Tuesday, May 18:
The county board of supervisors voted unanimously to implement Laura’s Law.
Original story below:
On Tuesday, Sacramento County may join the ranks of California counties that have implemented Laura’s Law, a law encouraging court-ordered help for those in a current state of mental decline.
Twenty years ago, a man with schizophrenia who refused treatment walked into Nevada County public mental health clinic and shot three people, killing them.
One of them was 19-year-old Laura Wilcox, who was back home working the clinic’s reception desk while on a break from college.
“And after Laura was killed, I realized someone else’s mental health problem became my family’s problem and how someone’s mental health problem became our community’s problem,” said Laura’s mother, Amanda.
Laura’s parents, along with many community advocates in Nevada County, got Laura’s Law passed in her name, which allows those in a current state of mental decline to be ordered into outpatient treatment by a court if the county implements it.
But that process has sparked controversy and only a limited number of counties have done it. Now, it is a matter up for debate in Sacramento County.
Lael Walz, who has worked closely with Laura’s family and others to access this process in Nevada County, joined Sonseeahray. Walz is with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a health coordinator for Sierra Clinic.