Posted on May 9, 2022
HARTFORD – During the House Session on Wednesday, April 27th, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) advocated for the passage of HB 5001 “An Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health.” The legislation seeks to address both the immediate and long-term needs of the state’s mental health systems.
Rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse and suicide increased significantly in recent years exposing the shortfalls with the state’s current mental and behavioral health infrastructure. Emergency rooms across Connecticut are inundated with patients awaiting placement into inpatient psychiatric beds. Additionally, schools across the state are facing a shortage of mental health professionals.
As a co-sponsor the legislation, Rep. Carney commented, “Mental health is one of our most important priorities this session. The pandemic and government response have taken a toll on the population’s mental health, especially school aged children. The past two years have exposed many cracks in our care system.”
The wide-ranging legislation aims to address the youth mental health crisis and support children and families by growing the behavioral health workforce, expanding treatment facilities, and increasing insurance coverage for mental health services. Additionally, the legislation would establish a 9-8-8 suicide prevention and mental health crisis lifeline.
The bill was passed with a unanimous support in both the House of Representatives and the State Senate. Additional information and bill analysis is available on the General Assembly website at www.cga.ct.gov.