Our editorial a couple of days ago on the impact on people with mental health crisis and the Madison Police Department caused by the state’s decision to end access to Mendota Mental Health Center prompted an important and welcome response from Lafayette County Sheriff Scott Pedley. The Sheriff applauded the editorial but said “remember that every county in your viewing area has been impacted by this.” You’re right Sheriff. And that’s even greater reason for the state to re-evaluate this policy.
Sheriff Pedley says his department has been doing more diversions to local facilities established by the county human services department however, he says, “ I often wonder if the persons in need are getting the full care that was once provided by the system.”
The state’s decision is having a negative impact on countless individuals and the budgets and public safety operations of as many as eight counties. We continue to believe the state Department of Health Services must see the need for a better solution. If not, a lawsuit might be broader than we first thought.