KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Idaho Lawmakers Consider Allowing Doctors To Order Teens With Severe Mental Illness Held

In Idaho, doctors and advanced nurses soon may be able to commit teens with severe mental illness into temporary custody.

The Associated Press: Idaho House Panel Approves Teen Mental Health Custody Bill
Physicians and nurse practitioners soon may have the authority to order juveniles who are suicidal, severely mentally ill or pose a threat to others into temporary custody at a hospital or some other health care facility. A bill approved Thursday by the House Health and Welfare Committee sets out to fix a void in Idaho law and streamline a process that now requires law enforcement involvement (2/28).

Lawmakers in Texas are also considering changes to their mental health program: greater funding to treat mental illness and more training for their teachers --

The Associated Press: Texas Lawmakers Hear Mental Health Concerns
Advocates for enhanced mental health care are taking their cause to the [Texas] state Capitol. At an outdoor rally on Thursday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers spoke in support of more funding for treatment programs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Texas spends $39 per capita on mental health services every year compared to a national average of $121. Only Idaho spends less (Brick, 2/28).

The Texas Tribune: Senator Would Fund Mental Health Training For Teachers
State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, filed legislation Thursday that would provide mental health training to Texas teachers. The latest in a series of proposals at the Legislature aimed at improving school safety in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., it focuses on mental health rather than beefing up security. Senate Bill 955, coauthored by several state senators, would provide state funds for Mental Health First Aid training to Texas teachers who volunteer (Chammah, 2/28).

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