A look at court-ordered outpatient treatment for the mentally ill

As a number of states, including Maryland, have yet to pass legislation on assisted outpatient treatment for the mentally ill, a new report from the Treatment Advocacy Center seeks to help lawmakers decide whether court-ordered outpatient treatment is worth the cost. (WaPo, 2/18)

Money. State and local governments never seem to have enough to meet the demand for mental health services.

For years now, a much-touted solution to that problem has been mandatory outpatient treatment, also known as assisted outpatient treatment, or AOT. Such programs have typically targeted a small portion of the seriously mentally ill – sometimes less than two percent – who are frequent fliers in state hospitals and local jails, and thus responsible for a disproportionate chunk of public spending on those services.

Many lawmakers around the country have been persuaded of mandatory outpatient treatment’s effectiveness. Only a handful of states, including Maryland, have either not adopted or not implemented mandatory outpatient treatment laws.

Opinion: A hospital psychiatrist explains why she sides with a recent article that asserts that the key to improving long-term care for psychiatric patients lies in a return to asylums. (NYT, 2/18)

CWBI | As we wait for this week’s heavy snowfall to melt, WRAG president Tamara Copeland shares some exciting news involving stormwater management, Prince George’s County, and nearly four years of hard work. (Daily, 2/18)

VETERANS | Obama Signs Act Designed To Prevent Suicide Among Veterans (NPR, 2/12)

– A bill may soon allow for the sale of junk food at Virginia schools at fundraisers. Advocates say that allowing less nutritious foods to be sold can provide schools with much-needed money. (WAMU, 2/17)

– Breakfast is still considered to be the most important meal of the day, but according to a new study from the Food Research and Action Center, the School Breakfast Program continues to be “seriously underutilized.” (WaPo, 2/18)

EDUCATION/EQUITY | Study: Black Girls Are Being Pushed Out of School (WAMU, 2/13)

PHILANTHROPY | Best-selling author and philanthropist, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, discusses the world of giving through a Silicon Valley-based lens. (WaPo, 2/12)

– Since the recovery from the Great Recession became evident, a number of economists have claimed that income gains have been largely unequal when comparing the nation’s wealthiest with the middle class. But have those claims been blown out of proportion? A new study suggests they have. (NPR, 2/17)

The 25-cent raise: What life is like after a minimum wage increase (WaPo, 2/17)

Arlingtonians – just how Arlington are you (or aren’t you)?

– Ciara