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Proctor Addresses Son's Arrest, Calls for Mental Health Discussion

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor (official)
Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 05:06:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Mental health and drugs were front and center on the mind of Leon County commission chair Bill Proctor, after his son was arrested last week.

Proctor spoke out Tuesday about his son Jordan's arrest and how the community needs to talk openly about mental health.

"I'm at the end of the road," he said. "I'm just hurting."

Jordan Proctor, 20, was arrested Saturday on three felony drug charges.

"I'm exhausted from my money," the commissioner said. "I'm exhausted from the emotions of it. I'm exhausted."

Proctor says his son's run-in with the law prompted him to address mental health in Leon County. He admits his son suffers from mental health issues. Jordan is also awaiting a mental health evaluation for a previous arrest.

"He's not a scapegoat for any kind," Proctor said. "I'm his daddy."

The commissioner has come under fire for proposing a reduced penalty for possessing marijuana.

"I proposed this before my son got in trouble," Proctor said, "and I supported this back in 2013 when I first voted for the program that we already have in place."

One of Proctor's concerns was the lack of mental health resources in Leon County. A nursing supervisor at Bond Community Health Center agrees they need help providing that type of care.

"Trying to get patients in, get them seen, get them stabilized on different medications -- yes, Bond has exhausted all its resources when trying to get patients assistance with mental health," said Ebonie Allen, ARNP.

Proctor says Leon County needs long-term residential treatment to help people fully cope with their mental health.

"Often times, a person needs more than three days to get balanced, to restore equilibrium," he said.\

But what he says is most important is the need for conversation.

"It's 'Lock the door. Close the curtains. Don't talk about it," he said, "and people are hurting -- like I'm hurting."

Proctor will host a community dinner and conversation next Wednesday at the North Florida Fairgrounds about emotional disorders and drug challenges.

He says he will discuss with the other county commissioners Monday night about a gap analysis and needs assessment of mental health services in the county.