“He was afraid to take his medicine,” Oklahomans push for stronger outpatient treatment

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State leaders are taking a closer look at how to fix our growing mental health crisis - from Stillwater to the murder of our labor commissioner and a beheading in Moore.

Today, many took part in a hearing at the capital on possible solutions.

“When I looked at him, his throat was cut," Cathy Costello said. "I get out of the car, and I see my son, Christian, standing there with a knife."

That was the day Cathy lost her husband and her son.

Labor commissioner Mark Costello was stabbed 17 times by their son, Christian Costello.

“I’m begging him, 'Christian, please stop!'” Cathy said. "He points the knife at my throat, and he says, 'Get back mom.'”

Christian was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

Cathy said he's much better on medication.

She's pushing for changes in state law that would help those needing medicine to continue taking it.

“He was afraid to take his medicine, because he thought we were poisoning him,” Cathy said.

Cathy's backing a law already implemented in Ohio.

It’s called assisted outpatient treatment works.

“Because it is court ordered, it builds the case that someone could get hospitalized,” Cathy said. “There is a treatment plan within the bill and judges that have implemented this in Ohio put a point person on task for managing that person's care."

The law in Ohio also sets a criteria for outpatient care, something Cathy said is needed in Oklahoma.

“Our son would have been a perfect candidate for assisted outpatient treatment," Cathy said. "He was happier. He had relationships, and my husband would be alive."

Cathy hopes, after hearing her and the other experts' stories on Tuesday, lawmakers will give some consideration to assistant outpatient treatment, saying families in Oklahoma need more options.

The point person cannot actually force someone to take their medication.

However, if the patient refuses to take their medication, the new law would make it easier to hospitalize the patient for treatment.