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State Laws Prevent Needed Help

Lane County Mental Health ServicesEUGENE, Ore. — Staff at Lane County Behavioral Health Services say their hands are tied in certain situations. Tuesday night’s incident where a man allegedly attacked two women with a pick ax in Springfield is one example of that. The suspect’s mother in this case partially blamed the incident on the fact that her son was turned away for the services he needed.

Behavioral Health Specialists like Katharine Schneider, who is also the program manager, says though they feel and completely understand the frustration on both sides. She says this is the way the system works. Because of the Oregon administrative rules and statutes in place, this process of waiting is the law.

Schneider says, “We’re a little more strict in terms of honoring peoples individual rights versus plucking someone we see is deteriorating and putting them in the hospital. So, they really have to meet strict criteria.”

To try to get around that the county is working hard on outreach and in-reach programs to prevent people from reaching their breaking points.

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