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Mental health experts explain why treatment is a lifelong journey for Rep. Kevin Boyle and his family

Mental health experts explain why treatment is a lifelong journey for Rep. Kevin Boyle and family
Mental health experts explain why treatment is a lifelong journey for Rep. Kevin Boyle and family 03:11

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police are still waiting for Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Boyle to turn himself in following an arrest warrant. According to police, the warrant is for violating a protection from abuse order.

Sources tell CBS Philadelphia that he texted his estranged wife.

Boyle's office in Fox Chase continued to be closed following the news of his arrest warrant. If arrested, it would be for the second time.

In 2021, he was charged with harassing and violating a protection order filed by his estranged wife.

Throughout the years he's also openly disclosed seeking treatment at mental health facilities.

In a statement, Boyle's brother, Congressman Brendan Boyle, said their family has tried to get him back into treatment.

The statement said in part "…we have been frustrated by a system that gives little power to the loved ones of an adult with a serious mental health condition."

It's a system that Dr. Mark Novitsky, a psychiatrist, said is difficult to navigate.

"We can get them the most immediate in-patient help through a process called 302 Petition, but even that's complex," Dr. Novitsky said.

Clinical social workers Annike Sprow and Jessica Drake said it's hard to balance doing what's best for a loved one and forcing a decision upon them.

Experts are cautious on commenting given we don't know Boyle's specific mental health issues.

"Ultimately it does come down to the fact that adults in Pennsylvania can make their own decision for their own mental health treatment," Sprow said.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2021, about 26.5 million of the 57.8 million adults with any mental health illness received mental health services in the past year.

"There are many crisis centers throughout the city," Dr. Novitsky said. "You can go in there. You can call the crisis line to get assistance and to say, 'Hey where do I start? How do I go about this?'"

The mental health experts who spoke to CBS Philadelphia said Boyle's situation could affect the mental health of his family members as well.

"Make sure you are actually seeing a mental health professional as well because it can be a lot to support individuals," Drake said.

Although experts said mental health treatment can be a difficult and ongoing process, there is hope.

"There's decent prognosis if an individual sticks with a provider, stays on the right medication," Dr. Novitsky said.

There's no word yet on whether Boyle will resign.

If you're struggling with mental health, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or 988. CBS News Philadelphia also has a list of mental health resources.

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