Mental health is a priority and should be seen in that light. This understanding gave birth to the baker Act in the state of Florida several years ago. However, the question of whether or not the Baker Act helps children and students mentally has been generating lots of controversies. Based on the report that reliable data indicates in the state of Florida, this is especially considering the astronomical rise in the number of students and (especially) school children that have been baker-acted in recent times in the state of Florida.
This International Health Alliance welfare study will help you understand what the Baker Act in the state of Florida entails and if it truly helps every community in every county in the state in tackling the mental health crisis.
What Is Baker’s Act?
This is a legislative Act in the state of Florida that authorizes certain people to be subjected to an involuntary mental health examination. We must also point out that the initiation of the Baker’s Act may be voluntary as initiated by the person to undergo examination. So, it is not always an involuntary examination. The examination is not supposed to exceed any more than 72 hours.
The result of this medical evaluation program will be critical in deciding further course of action as it concerns the examined person. It could turn out that the person is considered fine and not needing any mental health care or treatment. In such cases, the person will be released.
On the contrary, the person can be discovered during the examination to have mental health concerns. In such cases, the person will be transferred as a patient to a mental health treatment receiving facility or center in the state. It is in such facilities that mental health services will be conducted on the person to treat or properly manage the mental health illness diagnosed.
By law, the system only allows the court & law enforcement department, mental healthcare professionals, and medical professionals to carry out baker act on an individual. This is whether it is kids or adults involved. However, schools; family members; friends; colleagues; or even neighbors suspecting mental health troubles can initiate the process by reaching out to any of the aforementioned – the court & law enforcement department, mental healthcare professionals, and medical professionals in the state of Florida.
The Argument against the Baker Act
Year after year, controversies surrounding the Baker Act keep coming up. This is especially as it concerns the involuntary mental examination of students and school children in the state of Florida. For example, there is one of many pending lawsuits filed against a distinct school in a particular county for inappropriate initiation of the Baker Act on a child.
All these have led many people to question if the Baker Act in Florida is truly helping out as regards mental health. Well, some of the arguments against the Baker’s Act (especially as it concerns students and school children) are briefly discussed below:
Abuse of the Act
Reports are indicating that some people who are permitted by law to enforce the Baker’s Act, abuse it or simply use it unnecessarily. For example, there was a report on how the Baker’s Act was enforced on a child because the child was not showering as much as she should.
This can indeed be a sign of mental health trouble but could suggest many other things as well. Ideally, more signs were supposed to be observed in the child before (what turned out to be a wrong move) was made. On the sidelines, you may want to find out some Psychological Reasons for not Showering.
Situations like this in schools in Florida and other places have led to grievances from affected students and children who end up as victims rather than patients and their families. This is especially as these students and children have to deal with some form of social stigma in the community.
Violation of Human Rights
There are arguments hinged on how the involuntary subjection of a person to mental health examination may be seen as a violation of their human right. This argument is more pronounced when it turns out that the Baker Act was enforced unnecessarily or simply abused.
Even among those who make sense of having individuals Baker acted on, many of them still agree that the attention given to the execution of this program is a misplaced priority. They argue that more emphasis should be on avoiding the need for the enforcement of the Baker Act law.
This is through serious mental health awareness programs. The same also applies to the enforcement of the Marchman Act – which takes care of substance abuse concerns.
Some individuals will argue that the Baker Act was the right emergency move for a set time. However, they add that it is now outdated and the focus should be on mental health awareness instead.
The Stats Are Not Looking Good
It is one of the biggest arguments against the Baker Act. A public report indicating the number of people (adults and even children) who have been Baker acted is alarming and the numbers keep increasing. This is especially for kids.
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