Updated Thu, Dec 12, 2013 11:16 am
A new bill passed by Ohio lawmakers would give judges the authority to order outpatient treatment for people struggling with mental illness.
Judges say the bill, passed by the House Wednesday, would give them options other than committing a person to a mental hospital. It now goes to the Senate.
Terry Russell, head of the National Alliance for Mental Illness Ohio, tells The Columbus Dispatch that the law will save lives by giving judges more options in cases where people are seen in court repeatedly and their "illness is so severe they can't stay out of harm's way."
Opponents claim it would strip mentally ill people of their civil liberties by allowing family members to force them to get treatment, whether or not they want it.