The mother had never seen her daughter like this before. Not at home. Not at church. Not with her siblings or cousins.
As she pulled into the school parking lot, she could hear her kindergartner howl.
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What is the Baker Act?
The Baker Act allows people to be involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation for up to 72 hours if there’s reason to believe he or she has a mental illness and that, because of that illness, they appear to be a serious threat to themselves or others.
The idea behind the law, enacted in 1972, is to provide stabilization and some diagnosis to people in crisis, and experts agree it’s sometimes a necessary therapeutic measure.
A Baker Act can be initiated by police, social workers, judges and certain mental health professionals and physicians.
About this series
A system under stress
A look at the crisis inside a locked unit as state aims for cuts in mental health care
Political patronage and privatizing
Children break down at school
Child screening – pros and cons
Are gun background checks, including mental health, complete?
Thousands flock to Florida for weapons permits
Read the series online at www.palmbeachpost.com/s/health/