Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) has worked on suicide prevention and mental health for years. This year he has proposed three new bills to improve mental health in Utah.
HB 32: Crisis Services Amendments – Creates new mental health resources within the state, including expanded mobile crisis outreach teams (MCOTs), a health receiving center pilot program and a state-wide peer support line with appropriated funds and directs the Department of Health to apply for a Medicaid waiver that would reimburse certain inpatient treatments. Status: passed in House committee, heading to a vote on the House floor.
HB 35: Mental Health Treatment Access Amendments – Requires a mental health and substance abuse division in the Department of Human Services to provide standards and resources for a multidisciplinary community treatment team and to help provide housing for some of the adults leaving the state hospital. HB 35 also requires the Forensic Mental Health Coordinating Council to research the need for more adult beds at the Utah State Hospital and it seeks $1 million in one-time funding and nearly $5 million in ongoing funds to add 30 beds to the Utah State Mental Hospital. Status: Passed in the House, in Senate Rules.
HB 246: Mental Health Workforce Amendments – Requires the University of Utah Health Sciences to select two additional psychiatry residents in the 2021-22 academic year in order to help fill the workforce gap in mental health services. Status: Ready for a vote on the House floor.
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