TJ Alert, a rapid response alert system to locate missing persons with a mental illness.
This petition had 433 supporters
My 22 year old son suffers from a mental illness. On December 31, 2015 at approximately 12 noon he left our Margate home and was missing for 2 days. The time wasted utilizing old fashioned methods such as printing flyers and driving around looking for him is not effective alone. Social media played a big role in communicating to the community, friends & family that he was off of his medication and endangered. The police received a call that there was a black male knocking on doors and when the homeowners opened their doors he stood there in a daze. They also received a call that there was a black male walking in and out of traffic and it looked as if he were in a daze. My son was later found sitting on the side of the road with his knees to his chest and unresponsive. Unfortunately the community is not educated enough on warning signs that someone is suffering from a mental illness. What my son was experiencing was something called Catatonia. A Catatonia is a state of apparent unresponsiveness to external stimuli in a person who is apparently awake. My son has never used drugs, does not drink alcohol, does not smoke, not aggressive or violent and has no criminal history. As a former Sr. Deputy Sheriff of two different agencies one being Broward Sheriffs Office, my duty was to maintain care, custody and control of numerous inmates which many of them suffered from mental illness. These individuals are housed in a county pre-trial facility for committing misdemeanor and felony offenses that may be contributed to their mental illness. Some of these individuals could have been lost and family members had no way of locating them before it was too late. My dire concern is that no person suffering from a mental illness should be in a situation where they are missing and can not be found due to the lack on our part to find them and get them proper medical attention. No parent or loved one should ever have to experience a sense of hopelessness due to the lack of help in finding their loved one. As soon as a loved one is missing a mass text message should be sent to all cell phones similar to the Amber Alert for children, Silver Alert for the elderly and the Emergency Weather Alerts. There is no emergency system in place for the mentally ill. It is imperative that an emergency system be implemented to help protect the mentally ill should they experience an episode and falls victim to these types of situations. I'm petitioning for the TJ Alert, an emergency response system designed to immediately alert the media, all local law enforcement officials, hospitals and transportation services with the description and photo of the mentally ill missing person. My son was found only severely dehydrated. It's by the grace of GOD that I was able to be transparent and allow my sons life to take precedence over my pride and the negative stigma of Mental Illness. My relentless community outreach efforts touched the hearts of many whom rallied up and helped me find my son. GOD knows I can not thank them enough. The lack of support for the mentally ill carries grave consequences and I do not want my only son to be a statistic nor do I want any parent or family member to ever experience the horrific experience of missing a loved one suffering with a mental illness the way my family and I did. Without the proper emergency system in place to help the local authorities in locating our loved ones expeditiously the chances of locating our loved ones alive is very slim. WE the community are in one accord and we are desperately begging for legislation to help us so that we can help those who can not help themselves! As we join together to be the voice of our loved ones we take a stand and say,"The stigma dies you are important and help is on the way!"
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