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Mental Health Courts Give Mentally Ill Offenders the Option of Treatment

The California Administrative Office of the Courts reported that in jails nationwide, 15 percent of male inmates and 31 percent of female inmates have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other severe forms of depression. “The Los Angeles County jail,” the report notes, “is often cited as housing more people with mental illness than the largest psychiatric treatment facilities in the country.”

Twenty-four California counties have created a total of 32 mental health courts for adults and juveniles to address the problem.

Calif. Hospitals Lack Beds for Those With Mental Illnesses

California lacks a sufficient amount of psychiatric beds for individuals with severe mental health issues, according to a report released last week by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs' Association, HealthyCalreports. The report said that 26 of the 58 counties in California have no inpatient psychiatric beds available. Of the counties that do have psychiatric beds, many often are reserved for individuals who have been charged with crimes.

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church

NAMI California thanks Saddleback Church, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and NAMI-Orange County, for hosting a massive gathering dedicated to encouraging and educating consumers and family members, and equipping church leaders to actively help people affected by mental illness.

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church drew 3,300 attendees on March 28th, half of whom were family members. Over 30,000 more people accessed the event through a live internet webcast. Faith and community leaders, family members and consumers, government workers, elected officials, college students, clinicians, hospital officials, and others, all joined forces at this historic event held at Saddleback Church, in Southern California.

Report: Jails House 10 Times More Mentally Ill Than State Hospitals

In 44 states and the District of Columbia, at least one prison or jail holds more people with serious mental illnesses than the largest state psychiatric hospital, according to a report released Tuesday by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association. Across the country, an estimated 356,268 people with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are in prisons and jails, compared to just 35,000 in state hospitals — a tenfold difference.

NAMI Statement: The Fort Hood Tragedy

NAMI shares the nation's sadness over Wednesday's tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas. NAMI is an organization of individuals and families, including military service members and veterans, who have had their lives deeply affected by mental illness. We extend our sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives or were wounded. We also are sorry for the pain experienced by the family of the person responsible.