#HB54 – Mental Health Crisis Response Teams
Emergency Situations of any kind demand vigilant and immediate response teams. In the event of an emergency situation involving mentally disabled or impaired citizens response teams need to be vigilant, immediate, and well-educated on the proper ways to handle the situation without causing harm to the citizen and those around them. This is why I am a major proponent of legislation requiring the state to establish a system for an effective Mental Health Crisis Response Team. This team would specialize in emergency situations that include mentally disabled or impaired people. As the behavior of a person experiencing a Mental Health crisis can often be unpredictable and without warning dramatically changing it is imperative the state has these teams in place to respond in a responsible, yet wholesome way. It is apparent that the benefits outweigh the negatives. I urge all legislators to favor this bill, and pass it in both the House and Senate, and I ask that the Governor sign it into a law.
- A person does not have to have a Mental Disability or impairment to seek help from the Mental Health Crisis Response Teams.
- Teams are composed of mental health professionals and practitioners who can effectively and appropriately intervene in a mental health crisis.
- Mental Health Crises can affect people who do not suffer from a Mental Disability.
- Additional services of Mental Health Crisis Response Teams include: stabilization for up to ten days, rapid access to psychiatrists, health care navigators, mental health crisis beds and referrals to community mental health providers.
- Law Enforcement or EMT’s called to respond to mental health crisis often lack the training, education, and effectiveness to handle the situation.
- In 2009, there were over 5,000 mobile crisis interventions for adults and 3000 for children.
- Crisis teams are also effective in connecting people with the community mental health system who had not accessed treatment and services before.
- Law enforcement officers tend to have a broad discretion when deciding whether to send a person to jail instead or to a hospital emergency room.