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September is National Recovery Month, which is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  National Recovery Month is an observance to educate Americans about substance abuse treatment and mental health services available.  Franklin County Probate Judge Robert G. Montgomery has introduced a new limited guardianship program for mental health purposes that can help families be a part of a loved one’s treatment.


Substance abuse and mental health are an issue in Franklin County.  Probate Court records show that mental illness civil commitment cases have nearly tripled since 2010 in Franklin County. Columbus Public Health reported that unintentional overdose deaths have increased 584% since 2003 in Franklin County.


Judge Montgomery created a Limited Guardianship for Mental Health Care Purposes at the Franklin County Probate Court.  This program should be considered if you are caring for a loved one who requires your assistance and support to comply with their mental health goals, if your loved one is over the age of 18 or soon reaching the age of 18.  The program may ensure your continued involvement and may avoid the need for involuntary civil commitment by ensuring mental health treatment sooner rather than later. 


“Staying involved in your children’s mental health care needs after they reach the age of 18 will help them transition into that next phase of their lives more successfully,” said Judge Montgomery.


Some key offerings of this program are that the service may be confidential, it provides the opportunity for treatment sooner, allows for continued support after a loved one turns 18 years old, and gives the ability to coordinate a mental health plan with your loved one and their treatment team.  For more information about the Limited Guardianship for Mental Health Care Purposes, please click here.


The Probate Court has a Guardianship Service Directory available with contact information for alcohol and drug treatment services.  This includes information for counseling services, support groups, crisis intervention teams, developmentally disabled services, and mental health organizations.  To access the contact information to find assistance for yourself or a loved one, please click here.