News and Tribune

Clark County

May 6, 2013

Event connects mental health professionals

Most of Clark County’s mental health cases come before Judge Dan Moore


At times, the fine line between mental illness and criminal activity can be hard to distinguish. Helping to uphold the law is one thing. Deciphering mental illness is quite another. 

Armed with knowledge as their most formidable weapon, medical personnel must take on many different hats and make these decisions routinely, determining if a patient goes to the hospital for further observation or to the slammer. 

Last week, Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 Judge Dan Moore invited these front-line “heroes” to a luncheon in their honor at the courthouse. While the meeting served as a way to thank those in the mental health community for a job well done, it also allowed for court personnel and these workers to connect with each other and learn how they can better work toward their common goals.

“The reason why we started this several years ago was we saw a big need in our community for mental health professionals to kind of get on the same page with law enforcement, other legal professionals and the court system,” said Ashley Oliver, Clark Memorial Hospital’s lead therapist and community liaison.

Working collectively with law enforcement officials, those in the mental health field can help lessen the strain on the court system by diverting medically ill patients from overcrowded jails. Perceived nonviolent criminal behavior might, in some instances, be nothing more than a person with an illness going off their medication. Once prescriptions are reintroduced and families are called, patients often quickly return to their everyday, law-abiding selves.

Of course, not everyone necessarily wants help for their mental illness. In these instances, Indiana law provides a process that essentially overrules the person’s objections and holds the patient against their choice. Called an emergency detention order, a petitioner may ask the court to decide if a patient needs to be psychologically evaluated at a local medical facility. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints

2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.