Some push Kentucky lawmakers to allow forced mental health treatment
State lawmakers have heard hours of emotional testimony about why mental health advocates believe the state needs a law allowing judges to order some people to get treatment.
Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare heard testimony from mental health patients and parents on Wednesday advocating for a new law to let judges order outpatient mental health treatment for some people if they meet certain criteria. The testimony included comments from Kelly Gunning, who said her son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has refused treatment. She said her son assaulted her and her husband in January and is now in jail facing felony assault charges.
Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan opposes the idea, saying treatment works best if it is voluntarily. He worried the proposal would violate individual liberty.