Leaders push for community support of mental health care - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Leaders push for community support of mental health care

In the months since the Sandy Hook shooting, the heartbreaking images of tearful vigils have faded into a frightening look into the mind of the shooter who was by all accounts an unstable young man, bringing more attention to the need for mental health care.

"The reality is that mentally ill people are not any more violent than the normal population, but violence can occur if there is substance abuse, if they are not on their medications, if they are not stable on their medications," said the medical director of the Capital Area Human Services District Dr. Aniedi Udofa.

Here in Baton Rouge, experts say many people facing mental illness don't know about or don't have access to the resources they need. 

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff says he sees firsthand the growing number of mentally ill people winding up in the system.

"We've got to do more as a society; we've got to do more as a government to address these issues before they get to these points.  Do these people really need to be incarcerated? No. But, there's no other place for them to go," said Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.  

"74 percent of individuals that are incarcerated in a juvenile facility in our state have some sort of diagnosable mental illness, 74 percent.  36 percent have multiple mental illnesses," explained Baton Rouge Police Officer Sgt. Tweety Anny.

Those illnesses could be anything from depression or substance abuse - to more serious conditions.

To stem the tide, these leaders are calling on the community to get involved.

"The lack of positive role models, the negative things, that's what exists. That's what they hear on a daily basis," said Gautreaux.

"How can we solve this problem if families are not involved, if friends are not involved? It is very important to check with your child.  Try to talk to them, talk to them gently. If they see any type of behavior change it is a good thing to talk to your child, bring it to the attention of someone who can help the child," said Udofa.

For more information on the many services offered by the Capital Area Human Services District, click here.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:26:55 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:02:08 GMT

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>
  • Teen death in van: Family storms out of city hall after councilman 'crossed the line'

    Teen death in van: Family storms out of city hall after councilman 'crossed the line'

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 10:32 AM EDT2018-04-18 14:32:46 GMT
    Kyle Plush's uncle confronts Councilman Wendell Young, saying he "crossed the line" at Tuesday's City Council meeting. (FOX19 NOW)Kyle Plush's uncle confronts Councilman Wendell Young, saying he "crossed the line" at Tuesday's City Council meeting. (FOX19 NOW)

    Kyle Plush's family stormed out of a City Hall meeting after sitting through five hours of testimony Tuesday, saying one councilman "crossed the line."

    More >>

    Kyle Plush's family stormed out of a City Hall meeting after sitting through five hours of testimony Tuesday, saying one councilman "crossed the line."

    More >>
  • Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:32:44 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:16:01 GMT
    (Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...(Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.More >>
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.More >>
Powered by Frankly