Posted on April 28, 2022
HARTFORD – During the House Session on Wednesday, April 27th, State Representative Charles Ferraro (R-117) 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. Ferraro commented, “Mental health is one of our most important priorities this session. School closures due to the pandemic, increased social pressure, and an emphasized focus on gaps in treatment access have highlighted this as a central issue for legislators. I am proud of the work we did on behalf of our children.”
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 vote and awaits further action in the State Senate before the conclusion of the legislative session on May 4th. The proposal can be tracked using the General Assembly website at www.cga.ct.gov.