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Mental Health

March 18, 2013 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has thrown its weight behind Laura's Law - which allows counties to create court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment for the severely ill who have cycled through hospitals or jails and refused voluntary care - saying in a resolution that such programs have been shown to "significantly reduce" homelessness, hospitalization and arrest. The resolution, authored by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, directs the county's chief executive and legislative advocates to get behind five new state bills that would make it easier for counties to create such programs and secure "mental health treatment for those who refuse to get help on their own. " The back story: State lawmakers passed Laura's Law, patterned after New York state's Kendra's Law but which came with no funding, in 2002.
March 13, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers Wednesday morning will discuss a Republican request for an audit of databases on mentally ill residents and gun ownership. Severe mental health cases are supposed to be reported to law enforcement so disturbed people can be barred from owning guns. However, some GOP lawmakers are concerned that the information may not be relayed consistently.  When issuing the request for an audit last month, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) said in a statement that, "we need to be able to come together and ensure that those who are dangerous mentally ill individuals are not able to obtain or possess a firearm and potentially hurt themselves or others.
March 12, 2013
Re "Medical pot is here to stay," Column, March 8 I'm glad that Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has the marijuana he needs to help him cope with symptoms related to his cancer and treatment. But I'm sorry that his remarks at a City Council hearing on banning pot shops - "You want to kill me?" - were not balanced by someone like me, who could have said, "You are helping to destroy a family member. " Pot can be helpful for patients like Rosendahl, but it can also be a powerful addictive drug that ruins the mind.
March 8, 2013 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
SEATTLE - Problems with combat stress in soldiers have escalated so rapidly that the Army has doubled its behavioral health workforce over the last five years and still needs to hire more help, according to a nationwide review of the military's troubled system for handling the mental wounds of war. The review, released Friday, said about 4% of those returning from combat come home with behavioral health problems. In seeking help, they face a confusing array of programs, inconsistencies in training for mental health workers and gaps in mental health records because of uncoordinated record-keeping systems.
March 1, 2013 | By Paige St. John, This post has been updated. Please see below for details.
SACRAMENTO -- California's growing trouble with sex offenders removing their GPS monitors now involves an alleged murder. A convicted sex offender with a history of repeated arrests for ditching his state-mandated GPS tracker is accused of killing his 76-year-old grandmother, Racheal Russell. Her body was found Tuesday in a wheelbarrow in the backyard of her Stockton home. Stockton police say Sidney Jerome DeAvila, 39, was arrested in a nearby park several hours later. California has issued some 3,400 arrest warrants for state parolees accused of disabling or removing their GPS ankle monitors since the penalty for such violations was greatly reduced in October 2011.
February 28, 2013
Is Scott Weiland still the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots? Depends on whom you ask. Early Wednesday, the other three members of that grunge-era holdover - guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz - released a tersely worded statement declaring that they had "officially terminated Scott Weiland. " The firing came after what Rolling Stone recently described as "a rocky period" for the band, which, following a lengthy break, reunited in 2008 and toured heavily in support of a self-titled 2010 album.
February 27, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Concerned about a backlash against violent television shows and movies in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings, the entertainment industry is rolling out an advertising campaign it hopes will keep lawmakers off its back. The goal of the initiative is to inform parents about the "many tools that can help them manage what their children see on television and at the movies. " Among the groups backing the effort are the Motion Picture Assn. of America, National Assn. of Broadcasters, the National Assn.
February 15, 2013 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
A Riverside County judge on Friday postponed the sentencing of a 12-year-old boy found guilty of shooting his neo-Nazi father in the head while he slept on his living room couch. Superior Court Judge Jean P. Leonard said she needed more information from the probation department about the youth's mental health and more time to allow officials to complete an education assessment. She rescheduled sentencing to March 1. Leonard could send the boy to a juvenile detention facility run by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or to a less restrictive institution, such as a facility in Indio run by the Riverside County Department of Probation.
February 15, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- Lakers forward Metta World Peace lent his star power - and his personal story - to a Los Angeles congresswoman's effort to fund mental health services in schools. Just don't ask him to auction off any more championship rings. “I kind of wish I hadn't,” he joked at a news conference near the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Friday. World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, spoke about his own issues with mental health and the critical role that treatment had played in his life, in support of legislation from Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk)
February 8, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The last time David O. Russell went to the White House, to screen “Three Kings” for Bill Clinton in 1999, he brought his 5-year-old son Matthew. Russell didn't fully know it then, but a world  of struggle loomed for the boy, who grappled with emotional difficulties for much of his childhood and adolescence. Those challenges also awaited the director, who felt acutely the frustrations of raising a son with behavioral issues. Russell was back at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Thursday, making the trip to visit Vice President Biden with his star Bradley Cooper.
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