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Laura's Law in Yolo County

October 27, 2017

 

 

Friends,

 

On October 24th the Board of Supervisors received a report on the implementation of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Program that was created from Laura’s Law, or AB 1421 in Yolo County. Providing support rather than criminalizing those who live with mental illness is a key priority for Yolo County. According to Turning Point, a contractor providing mental health services in Yolo County, “up to 1/3 of those who are mentally ill do not recognize their illness and do not access treatment for their illness.”

 

The AOT program respects client’s rights, provides improved mental health services, and saves money for Yolo County taxpayers. While it is referred to as court ordered treatment, the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program does not issue violations, require probation, or jail time. Instead AOT provides patient-centered support, and intensive case management.

 

Yolo County has been providing the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program since 2014. To date, 16 clients have received services in Yolo County and 12 clients have been successfully discharged from the program. Results from clients in this program illustrate success as clients have found stabilized housing, have fewer hospitalizations and incarceration rates, and experienced an increase in education and employment opportunities.

 

 

Under this highly successful treatment program, clients have the ability to remain in their communities. In order to qualify for the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program, patients must be:

 

  • 18 years or older

  • Severely mentally ill

  • Condition must be deteriorating

  • Have two hospitalizations or have been in jail in the last three years

  • Show signs of refusing regular treatment.

 

Services provided to these clients include: psychotherapy, medication management, crisis intervention, nursing, rehabilitation and substance use counseling, and support for housing.

 

Click here to watch the Board discussion.

 

These services are vital for our community. I look forward to seeing a financial analysis that identifies the cost savings of reduced hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and decreased incarceration rates for our County based on the results of this program.

 

As always, please email me at don.saylor@yolocounty.org to share your thoughts on this topic or any other matter.

 

In shared service,

 

Don

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