- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (AP) - The widow of Oklahoma’s slain land commissioner wants a legislative committee to support assisted outpatient treatment for the mentally ill.

Mark Costello died Aug. 23, and police say his son Christian stabbed him multiple times at an Oklahoma City restaurant. The Tulsa World reports (https://bit.ly/1Ww7LgV ) that Costello’s widow Cathy Costello went before a legislative committee Tuesday to ask it to make changes to state law that would help those needing medicine to continue taking it.

At the hearing Costello revealed that she and her husband spent years trying to help their son in his struggle with mental illness. The family spent $150,000 on treatment that included 10 trips to facilities in and out of the state, she said.

She said Mark Costello tried to save his son day in and day out.

“The man was on his knees every day praying for his son, every day praying for a solution,” Cathy Costello said. “He wouldn’t give up.”

But her son refused to take his medication, Costello said. She argues changes to the law would make it easier to hospitalize the patients who refuse their medication.

Terri White, Commissioner for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said assisted outpatient treatment, which is court ordered, requires a substantial investment of resources, but will reduce costs in other areas, such as future hospitalizations.

Costello has asked Gov. Mary Fallin to appoint her as labor commissioner. She hopes to use the position to raise awareness about the issue.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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