State Representatives Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-Mt. Vernon) and Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Twp.) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation relating to laws on court-ordered and outpatient treatment of the mentally ill.
House Bill 104, which was sponsored by Ruhl and Stautberg, would make changes to the current code in order to reduce confusion and ambiguity for when a judge is empowered to find the “least restrictive alternative” for those with severe mental illness who meet the criteria for court-ordered treatment.
“Our goal is to keep our loved ones with mental illness from becoming so ill that they are ready to hurt themselves or someone else,” Rep. Ruhl said. “I’m pleased to see this important bill pass the House, as it will make clear to judges what tools they have available to keep others safe while promoting the recovery of the patient.”
House Bill 104 also would assist family members seeking court ordered treatment by including the state’s Affidavit of Mental Illness form within the Ohio Revised Code and clarifying that the form is to be filed with the probate court.
“Passage of this bill will assist families struggling with mentally-ill family members and allow judges flexibility to order outpatient treatment for mentally-ill individuals who meet certain criteria,” Rep. Stautberg said. “The members of the House believe, like I do, that these revisions are a very important step in improving recognition and treatment of mentally ill individuals.”
House Bill 104 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further debate and consideration.