Fayette Mental Health Court officials seek funding to support the “aftercare” program

Originally published by WEKU.

Representatives of Fayette County’s Mental Health Court are asking city leaders for additional funding to support an aftercare program. Members of the Lexington City Council’s Social Services Committee got an update Tuesday. Mental Health Court Administrator Bill Buckman said aftercare benefits extend beyond each participant.

“As these individuals heal and maintain their wellness so do families and neighborhoods and communities also heal and become more functional,” said Buckman.

Buckman talked about 60% of Mental Health Court participants maintaining sobriety a year later and over half moving from unhoused to almost all with stable housing. Alumni group meetings consist of about two dozen people meeting twice a week. Buckman says it goes a long way in preventing relapse.

The court is overseen by District Judge John Tackett who said there is a better way to address these problems.

“I’ll say it always to you all…if we start treating these mental health issues..we start treating these substance use disorder issues like public health issues that they are we get better results. And that’s what we’re figuring out in the criminal justice system,” said Tackett.

Over a 34-month period, Mental Health Court advocates say more than $4 million have been saved by not incarcerating the participants along with less policing costs.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.