Today, twelve Senators introduced landmark legislation relative to providing court ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment for persons with certain mental illnesses. Bill No. 115-33 (COR) is to be known as the Baby Alexya Law. Assisted Outpatient Treatment is practiced in forty-five (45) States as an extension of inpatient treatment, while allowing the qualified patient with a treatable mental illness or condition to receive court ordered treatment on an outpatient basis. The continued treatment and management of the patient’s condition on an outpatient basis has also been determined to greatly reduce incidents of violence and arrests.
Bill No. 115-33 (COR) was introduced by Senators D.G. Rodriguez, Jr., R.J. Respicio, V.A. Ada, B. Mccreadie, N.B. Underwood, Ph.D., T.A. Morrison, F.F. Blas, Jr., F.B. Aguon, Jr., M.C. Torres, T.R. Muna-Barnes, M.F.Q. San Nicolas, and J.T. Won Pat, Ed.D.
Leading the nation, when New York City established Kendra’s Law, it took the tragic death of Ms. Kendra Webdale, a young woman who died in January 1999 after being pushed in front of a New York City subway train by a person who was not receiving treatment for his mental illness. “On Guam, we had the recent case of ten (10) month old baby Alexya being punched in the face while in the arms of her mother under similar circumstances by a person not receiving treatment for her mental illness,” Senator Rodriguez stated.
“It took an unfortunate act because of the cracks in our mental healthcare system to raise our people’s level of awareness that we too are seriously in need of this kind of program,” Rodriguez added. “I too had an initial reaction of anger, just as many did. But as I learned more about the circumstances my feelings changed to compassion for a mentally ill woman who fell through the cracks in a system not legally prepared to address her situation and numerous others,” Rodriguez concluded.
Senator Rodriguez was joined at the introduction of Bill 115-33 by Baby Alexya and her parents, as well as representatives of the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, and Senatorial co-sponsors.
Senator Rodriguez reaches out to Baby Alexya as her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser look on during the introduction of Bill 115-33(COR) at the Guam Legislature.
Sen. Rodriguez, Baby Alexya, her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser, Sen. Tony Ada, Sen. Nerissa Underwood, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr., and Guam Behavioral Health Admin and Staff- Director Rey Vega, Dep. Dir. Paulino, Dr. Ariel Ismael and Ms. Jeremy Lloyd look on as Sen. Rodriguez explains Bill 115-33(COR)- known as the Alexya Law, during the introduction of the bill at the Guam Legislature.