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Mississippi District Judge Rules in Favor of People With Mental Sickness

District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a protracted ruling on Sept. 4 in favor of federal oversight of Mississippi’s mental health system, which provides people with psychological sickness “hope that the inconsistencies in community-based services that exist across the state will become a thing of the past,” mentioned the executive director of the Mississippi Psychiatric Association Angela Ladner.

The court declared that Mississippi is pushing people with severe mental sickness into segregated psychiatric hospitals, ripping them away from their families and relatives, when they could have offered them appropriate outpatient care in a community setting.

While Ladner is happy with the court’s order, she stated, “Our state can’t resolve the problems raised in the lawsuit until we’re ready to admit that they exist. Those who undergo brain disorders deserve the same level of care and opportunity that exists in the approach to other medical sicknesses.”

The judgment was a culmination of a court hearing that started in 2016 after five years of “fruitless discussions” between the U.S. Division of Justice and Mississippi to try to reform the state’s psychological health care system. A four-week trial was held in June and July.

Reeves found that Mississippi is biased against people with severe psychological sickness. It breaks Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and failing to provide satisfactory community-based mental health services.

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