Va. Lawmaker Stabbed By Son Calls For National Mental Health System Reform
Elsewhere, the Washington state Supreme Court will allow psychiatric hospitals more time to find beds for patients with mental illnesses, and Connecticut plans to overhaul children's mental health care.
USA Today: Va. Lawmaker Stabbed By Son Urges Mental Health Reform
A Virginia lawmaker, who said his world "changed forever" when his son stabbed him before committing suicide in November, called on Congress Thursday to repair the nation's crumbling mental health system to prevent more tragedies. "We cannot afford to wait for another crisis or tragedy," said Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds, who spoke to 1,700 mental health advocates at the annual meeting of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Washington. "Too many lives have been lost, too many families changed forever" (Szabo, 9/5).
The Associated Press: Washington State Supreme Court Grants Stay On Psychiatric Boarding Ban
The Washington state Supreme Court on Friday unanimously agreed to give the state more time to find beds in psychiatric hospitals for mentally ill patients who have been involuntarily committed because they were a danger to themselves or others. The justices banned the practice called "psychiatric boarding" in an Aug. 7 ruling, arguing that placing these patients in emergency rooms without treatment violates the Involuntary Treatment Act. Attorney General Robert Ferguson responded with a motion on Aug. 22 asking for a 120-day stay on that ban so the state could secure more beds. The court granted that request and said the mandate would go into effect on Dec. 26 (9/6).
CT Mirror: DCF Unveils Plan For Overhaul Of Children’s Mental Health Care
A new state blueprint for children’s mental health services recommends standardized screening and enhanced school services, better training for all caregivers and the “pooling” of hundreds of millions in public funds to more effectively finance vital programs. The Department of Children and Families unveiled the first draft Friday of a new report due to the General Assembly in October. The document, intended to put forward strategies for a comprehensive overhaul of children’s behavioral health, was ordered by legislators in response to the tragic, December 2012 shooting of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Public comment on the plan is being sought through Sept. 12 (Phaneuf, 9/5).