June 2nd, 2015
Exciting news! The Mental Health Court Program Act, bill S.426, was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley! This a great victory for South Carolina and mental health reform. The Mental Health Court Program Act will help establish a mental health court program in every county in the state, which will help divert indicted mentally ill people to appropriated mental health programs instead of jails and prisons. We still have a long way to go for mental health reform, but for now we can celebrate this great victory! A HUGE thank you to everyone that helped us get this bill passed! Your calls, emails and support helped make this law a reality; you deserve the greatest thanks for your efforts.
Here’s a word of thanks from Paton:
I just received a call from the Governors office that S.426 The Mental Health Court Program Act was officially signed into law by Governor Haley…. A special huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who wrote emails, made phone calls, shared posts etc to make this happen. I am especially thankful for Vincent Sheheen who authored the bill and for Senator Shane Massey who kept it going with strength. We also could not have done this with out all the help from the media! Thank you Greenville News, Wyff 4, WSPA, WORD Radio, WLTX Columbia , The State News, The Greenville Journal, The Washington Times, The AP, Eric G. Wood, Liz Lohuis Stanislawski , April Morris, Tim Smith, Liv Osby, Gordon Dill, and Joyce Koh. Finally thank you is well deserved for the support of Marie Limnios Dunn-Blough and her team from Redhype with the point person being the fabulous designer, copywriter and web guru Mika Hearn. I thank you all, the NAMI and mental health community thanks you and the entire state thanks you or will some day! And thank you as well to James Hayes, Elaine Hester and Tamar Paltrow Zwerdling.