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Mental illness law allowing court-ordered outpatient treatment rarely used

from Orlando Sentinel

In the days after Christian Gomez picked up an ax and decapitated his mother on New Year's Eve, neighbors in the family's Tampa-area suburb said the 23-year-old man had a history of mental illness so severe that his mother sometimes tried to hide medication in his food. For grieving neighbors, for law enforcement, for many mental-health advocates, the refrain sounded all too familiar: Even though Gomez refused to seek treatment, why, they asked, couldn't someone make him get help? In Florida, it turns out, someone can. more


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