The Baker Act is a mental health initiative that is used to alleviate the mental health crisis in Florida. At the time of its inception, there was little opposition to its effectiveness in creating a community with impressive mental health stats. But there are now many questions asked about the basis of this law in the state of Florida.
One of the reasons for this is the surge in the number of baker-acted children and students, as data indicate. In this IST Health welfare post, we will take a look at the reasons for the rise in the number of students subjected to this involuntary psychiatric examination and how it affects the mental health state of students.
Reasons for the Massive Rise in the Number of Baker-Acted Kids and Students
There has been a decline in the number of baker-acted adults in virtually every county and district in the state of Florida. This is the case for the latest fiscal year. However, this report does not suggest good news as kids and students are not faring well in this regard. For starters, this report is reliable, and here are some reasons for this mental health crisis:
The Covid Pandemic
The pandemic did more harm to the general public than is being mentioned. The focus was mostly on providing medical treatment for people with the virus and creating awareness on how to stop its spread. However, the new normal did little or no good for children and students.
Many kids did not have access to the mental health care that they needed during this time. This did not help and the numbers have gone up for reasons like this. There are even direct mental health impacts of long covid. For example, an individual (just like several others) has reported his sense of smell is different and distorted after covid. This is one of the many other ways this viral illness affects people.
Data gathered during the pandemic on the mental health state of children and students during the pandemic was highly questionable. The news was that things were looking bright as fewer children were being subjected to the baker act.
The fewer numbers during this period were not indicative of improvement in children’s and student’s mental health state. It was just that the clinical focus was on something else. Additionally, limited movement of children and students meant there were reduced chances of seeing the need for Bakering Act children. Kids weren’t in school as schools were shut down temporarily.
Abuse of Order Privileges
The court of law and the law enforcement department has the exclusive legal right to order that a person be subjected to psychiatric evaluation. Especially with the law enforcement department and as it concerns baker acted children and students, there are several reports of abuse of this right to order a mental health examination.
There are pending lawsuits about how people are subjected to mental torture and hours wasted during this involuntary examination. The law enforcement department is oftentimes at the receiving end of such lawsuits.
An officer or even a court setting may not be interested in abusing this authority but ignorant of situations it should and should not be used. Reports on the number of baker-acted students and kids who don’t make it to a mental care facility or hospital prove this.
There are moves to avoid this in every county and district in the state. However, a better hands-on approach is needed.
The Baker’s Act has Overstayed its Welcome
The Baker Act does help in several ways in this state. However, the question is if there are better ways to achieve the same goal it was formulated to achieve. For this reason, many argue that the Baker Act has overstayed its welcome and there is a need for a better legislature.
This one wouldn’t be dedicated to involuntarily subjecting people to a mental health examination. Rather, it would be about people receiving services that focus on mental health awareness and sensitization. It would have a functional center with facilities spreading across all counties and districts in the state of Florida.
Other posts on this website can be read to keep you well-informed. For example, you can read this welfare-related article to find out what it means to dream about snakes.