Mental Health

Increase In Child 'Baker Act' Cases Draws Attention

Jul 21, 2017

With a dramatic increase in the number of children being taken in for involuntary psychiatric examinations, a state panel Thursday began looking to address the “Baker Act” issue.

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded emergency mental health care to vets with other-than-honorable discharges. It's part of an effort to curb the recent increase in veteran suicide.

Universities around the state of Florida are reviewing their budget for the next year and mental health services remain a priority.

Michael Hirsh

The U.S. Census shows Florida is home to nearly half a million Vietnam veterans. The VA’s health clinic in Cape Coral alone served 37,000 of them last year—and the number of Vietnam veteran baby boomers retiring to Southwest Florida just keeps increasing. A significant number of these new retirees are showing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—or PTSD—often for the first time.

Women are frequently encouraged to learn self-defense techniques, evaluate dangerous situations, and to remain alert for potential predators. The emphasis is often on ways potential victims can avoid victimization, but one Southwest Florida forensic consultant argues the conversation should focus instead on predators, and giving the community options in identifying potential offenders.