mental illness

Florida lawmakers are debating several measures aimed at preventing mass shootings, and some law enforcement officials are calling for another one: Making it easier to detain certain people suffering from mental illness.

But the leader of the state’s largest psychologist lobbying group cautions that unfairly puts too many people in the crosshairs.

President Donald Trump’s mental fitness has been called into question ever since he announced his candidacy. Partially based on early morning Twitter tirades, people on the internet have assigned various mental illnesses to the president; from mood disorders to personality disorders. The trend causes discomfort for those living with mental illness and the people who treat them. 


Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Lady Gaga is bringing more than just entertainment to Miami this week.

Associated Press

The suspect arrested for the January shootings inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had been held just months earlier on a mental health evaluation in Alaska.

While Governor Rick Scott has said he supports making it harder for mentally ill people to have guns, no such proposal is on the agenda for the coming legislative session.

Michael Auslen in the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau spoke with WLRN's Gina Jordan about the latest calls for action dealing with mentally ill people and guns. Listen to the interview here: 

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Activists have been calling for  Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to bring charges against two prison guards accused of torturing and killing schizophrenic inmate Darren Rainey at Dade Correctional Institution four years ago. The state attorney's office says an investigation is still on-going, citing a desire to be thorough.

Health News Florida

Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.

  

That’s according to a new study out this week in the Health Affairs journal that looked at more than 81,000 adults in Florida with serious mental illness. Researchers got data on residents in Tampa and Miami with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression who received care in a publicly-funded health care setting; that data was married with court records and health records.

Studies show that only about half of the veterans who need mental health care seek treatment. And of those who get care – many drop-out before treatment is complete.

“So, we’re only reaching a third of people ultimately who need the treatment,” said retired Army Col. Dr. Charles Hoge. He works as a civilian at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he used to head up PTSD research.

José A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

The Miami-Dade Crisis Intervention Team trains police officers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties on how to respond to calls that involve someone who is mentally ill.

The CIT had trained more than 4,500 police officers across 35 police departments.

In February, 25-year-old Lavall Hall was killed by a Miami Gardens police officer. He suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Police say Hall was carrying a broom and attacked two officers.

DOC NYC/flickr

In the early 1980s, a series of escapes earned Mark DeFriest the nickname Prison Houdini.

In 1979, DeFriest was a 19-year-old mechanic living in a rural area outside of Tallahassee. Then he was arrested for stealing his own tools -- the tools were inherited from his father, but DeFriest took them before his father’s will had gone through probate. His stepmother called the police, and DeFriest fled. That began his decades-long odyssey behind bars.