State enacts updated involuntary mental health treatment law

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation he says provides people facing mental health issues with access to intervention and treatment earlier.

The bill enacted Wednesday updates “Kevin’s Law,” a series of underutilized laws passed in 2004 that authorized courts and community mental health agencies to use assistant outpatient treatment programs instead of hospitalization for people who don’t comply with prescribed treatment.

The legislation, which takes effect in February, will let a family member petition for involuntary treatment earlier. It makes people’s impaired judgment a factor in determining if they should receive involuntary treatment — not just their behavior.

Calley says expanded treatment options “will help address the root cause of the problem while also reducing many avoidable law enforcement situations.”

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