COLUMBUS– The Ohio Senate today passed Substitute Senate Bill 43, sponsored by Senator Dave Burke (R–Marysville), which seeks to provide clarity in the law as it relates to court ordered outpatient treatment for the mentally ill.

“Across the nation, we continue to receive heartbreaking reports of harmful incidents involving our mentally ill,” said Burke. “Focusing our attention on policies, like court ordered outpatient treatment, will help us reach these individuals before they bring harm to themself or others.”   

The legislation seeks to clarify existing law so as to eliminate any question on the part of Ohio’s Probate Court Judges that they may order certain individuals with serious and persistent mental illness into court ordered outpatient treatment.  This is an important tool for our judges to have, especially when there is clear and convincing evidence that without treatment, the individual is likely to cause a substantial risk of harm to themselves, others and or demonstrates difficulty adhering to prescribed treatment.  

Substitute Senate Bill 43 also seeks to properly define the types of treatment that may be included as part of someone’s court order as well as inserting a copy of the state’s existing affidavit form into code.  This was done so that anyone, including a family member, knows where to locate this form and where to file it.   

The legislation will now be sent to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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