Friday, February 10, 2006

Families in NM support Kendra's Law

There have been many letters to the editor in support of bringing AOT to New Mexico. NAMI New Mexico supports this bill because too many families have had an experience like this one.

I APPLAUD MAYOR Martin Chávez for his support of assisted outpatient treatment for the mentally ill. I am a Democrat who strongly supports civil liberties and the rights of the disabled. As an attorney, I have worked to protect both. But I am also a sister to an untreated, paranoid schizophrenic.

Because the illness, by its nature, makes [my brother] paranoid and untrusting, he refuses treatment. He hallucinates constantly. He is tormented by the voices he hears, which are violent enemies in pursuit. He cannot care for himself.

Despite his condition, we are repeatedly told that we can do nothing to help him until he hurts himself or someone else. Imagine your loved one being terribly sick and your government actually preventing you from getting them the medication they need. My family's only choice is to wait for a horrific crisis. It's an ongoing nightmare that takes its toll on my entire family. We worry every day that he will hurt someone or that a well-meaning police officer will hurt him.

- Excerpt of letter from Susan Warren, Albuquerque Journal, January 10, 2006

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