Human resources

State mental health resources interviewed after woman arrested for homicide once sought help

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Questions about Arkansas mental health resources are circulating after a Little Rock woman arrested for homicide was found seeking help for a mental illness.

Corey Alexander, 46, was arrested on Saturday for shooting and killing her father, Ray Alexander, 83.

Police say Corey Alexander also shot and injured his mother in the same shooting that happened on F Street.

Earlier this week, our crews learned that Ray Alexander had already petitioned for his daughter’s involuntary engagement.

The petition was dropped after Corey agreed to self-medicate, making it a voluntary commitment.

Department of Social Services leaders say that once a patient voluntarily seeks treatment, the patient has the power to check in and out of a psychiatric care facility.

After the court documents were released, residents asked questions about whether Corey was one of many mental illnesses that slipped through the cracks.

Arkansas recently ranked among the worst states for mental health care, according to a study by Quote Wizard.

DHS says that currently there is not enough data to adequately determine whether the state has enough resources to meet the number of people seeking mental health care.

DHS says they are still working to expand state resources since 2016.

Patricia Gann, deputy director of DHS’s Division of Aging Adult and Behavioral Health, said the state has been working to expand services since 2016. She says they’ve been working to add providers and independent licensed physicians and developing behavioral health agencies.

“I think we continue to look at that landscape and see where we are in terms of transformation, what progress we’ve made in getting services for the seriously mentally ill, and what we still need to do,” Gann said.

Gann says one of the goals of DHS is to expand community services, allowing doctors to meet with patients in their homes rather than in a facility.

“We know we still have work to do, but I think we’ve made great progress over the past four years,” Gann said.