I was elated to read of the recent graduation of an individual from Snohomish County’s Mental Health Court. (Nov. 21 article, “Mental health court’s first client gets on with life.”) This court has been awhile in coming, but thanks to the persistence of the visionaries, like Judge Tam Bui, it is off to a great start. This first graduate is a clear demonstration of how our court system can act compassionately in their interactions with individuals with mental illness.
In these misdemeanor cases, the court’s understanding and commitment represent a real and genuine investment in these individuals’ lives. The combination of education, treatment and support come together in a disciplined and structured manner that results in a golden opportunity for improved quality of life. As many families can attest, jail time can result in rapid decompensation of these folks, is counterproductive, and doesn’t reflect where an evolved society should be headed. This letter is to acknowledge and thank all those involved in making this court a reality.
President, Snohomish County Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness