Mental Health Court Needs Money for More Therapists, McCarthy Says

State’s Attorney John McCarthy said Thursday he needs $200,000 to add two therapists who will serve as part of the Mental Health Court, a part of the county legal system that diverts individuals who suffer from mental illness away from incarceration and toward treatment and community supports.

McCarthy and six Montgomery County Council members praised the court for its ability to help the mentally ill and to save government money.

“We’re making progress. It’s smart, it’s intelligent, it’s fair,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said Montgomery County police responded to 7,000 calls for a mental health emergency last year. The jail, which has an average daily population of 750, saw 2,300 inmates who upon reception had an existing mental health illness that needed to be addressed, he said.

The money would have to be approved by the County Council.

“It is going to important to understand where we are in terms of return on investment and some of it is hard to quantify I do believe but that this is the right path,” Councilmember Nancy Navarro said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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