COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The mother of one of the two mental health patients who drowned while being transported in an Horry County Sheriff’s Office van testified Monday before a state Senate subcommittee as they work toward drafting legislation for mental health initiatives.
The Correction and Penology Special Subcommittee on Mental Health initiatives met for the second time. The chairman, Sen. Marlon Kimpson, presented two ideas for the legislation.
He said they want to focus on training law enforcement to transport mental health patients to make the experience more therapeutic. The second idea is to make it required that friends or family be notified that they can transport the patient if they want.
“There was a lot of input and it centered around a crisis in the state of South Carolina with respect to the lack of funding that we have in our system for mental health treatment,” said Kimpson.
Linda Green, Nicolette Green’s mother, expressed her gratitude toward the subcommittee that they’re taking the initiative to look into this issue.
“I realize it’s challenging and very complex, but it needs to be made right,” said Green.
During her testimony, she also talked about the type of vehicle used to transport her daughter and Wendy Newton, saying it was more like a crate or cage and they were seated on metal.
“Our pet gets to ride in the back seat,” said Donald Green, “We don’t lock it up in a crate and let it be drowned. This is just totally unacceptable.”
“Have the treatment that is necessary without scaring them or making them feel lost, hopeless and defeated,” said Linda Green.