A Call for Help
On Jan. 5, 2014, the parents of 18-year-old Keith Vidal of Boiling Spring Lakes called 911 for help because their son was having a schizophrenic episode. Law enforcement officers responded, and one of the officers shot and killed Vidal.Posted — Updated
The incident is a tragic example of what can happen when police and deputies encounter people with mental illness. That’s something that’s happening more frequently in North Carolina, largely as a side effect of efforts to reform the state’s mental health care system.
The reform, which began in the early 2000s, was designed to move the mentally ill out of large institutions like Raleigh’s Dorthea Dix Hospital and into privately run, community-based facilities. The development of those private beds fell far short of expectations, leaving many mentally ill people without care in a crisis.
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