Jeanne Gore, Yaicha Provencher and Joe Pickering Jr.: Gabe Damour’s death was the worst nightmare come true for families like ours
This op-ed is in response to a Dec. 12 article by Sun Journal reporter Emily Bader, “Advocacy groups rebuke calls to expand Maine’s progressive treatment program.”
Gabriel Damour, killed on Thanksgiving morning in Poland, didn’t have to die. His brother, Justin Butterfield, has been charged with his murder. Justin suffers from schizophrenia and, according to his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, Yaicha Provencher, he seemed to have no awareness of his illness.
More mental health advocacy groups are speaking out against Maine’s so-called progressive treatment program following Gabe’s murder.
Maine’s Progressive Treatment Program (PTP), enacted in 2010, if utilized, would have likely prevented this tragedy. The PTP is compassionate treatment for those with brain disorders who have no awareness of their illness. It’s essentially a court order that allows people to be ordered into treatment in the community. Under the PTP, if their illness becomes worse, they can be brought to a hospital before they become a danger to themselves or others, before tragedy occurs.
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