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News Specialist Samantha Hayes reporting Should people with mental illness be forced to undergo treatment?
A domestic assault in Kearns highlights the need for new policies.
There is currently an involuntary commitment bill before the State Legislature. This bill has gone before lawmakers in different versions over the years.Proponents say what happened yesterday is just more reason to adopt it.
Eugene Delgado has a history of domestic violence. His family knows it...
Eugene Delgado Mother: "YOU DON'T KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO END UP ON THE FLOOR OR WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO END UP"
The cops know it...
"IN THE PAST WE'VE HAD SOME SORT OF PROBLEM HERE"
And so do the courts. Delgado was cited for simple asssault and domestic violence on May 22 last year.
Records show he went for some counseling. His mom says she couldn't force him to continue.
"FOR ONE THING THEY SAID HE NEEDS TO ADMIT HIMSELF TO GET HELP"
Vicki Cottrell with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill wants to change state law.
She says right now in order to involuntary commit someone you must be in "immediate danger."
Vicki Cottrell/National Alliance for Mentally Ill IMMEDIATE TO ME IS PRETTY VAGUE, DO YOU HAVE TO BE STANDING WITH A GUN TO YOUR HEAD, KNIFE TO YOUR HAND."
Instead, a broader definition is being proposed to take into account a pattern of behavior.
"VICKI COTTRELL/NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MENTALLY ILL: THAT GOES OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, WHERE YOU CAN SEE THIS HAPPEN, AGRESSION GETS WORSE, SEVERITY IS MORE"
Cottrell believes the Delgado case and support from former opponents like the Disability Law Center
Fraser Nelson/Disability Law Center - "THIS WILL ALLOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO SAY, BEFORE THEY BECOME ILL, WHILE THEY ARE FEELING WELL, 'THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO HAPPEN IN CASE I BECOME ILL"
That last clause would work like a living will.
The bill is in need of funding...about 223 thousand dollars before it can leave committee and go before the House.