BEFORE FRIDAY AT 12P! Ask legislators to prioritize funding for expanded mental health services in Utah! (HB 32)

Ask the Executive Appropriations Subcommittee to prioritize funding for mental health with HB 32!

In Sept 2019, the Kem C. Gardner Institute and Utah Hospital Association issued a joint report on Utah’s Mental Health System which showed that, while over 100,000 Utahns have a serious mental illness, Utah is last in the nation for mental health services. Increasing the number of residencies is a critical component in addressing the upstream problems in Utah related to behavioral health care and, ultimately, the state’s high suicide rate.

HB 32 by Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) seeks to expand mental health services in Utah to help address mental health issues in our state. The Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee has prioritized funding for this bill. It is now up to the Executive Appropriations Committee to provide the funding needed to make necessary investments in mental health. This committee is scheduled to finalize funding decisions by the end of the day on Friday.

Simply click “Start Writing” to email committee members now! 

What would HB 32 Crisis Services Amendments do?

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.

Ask the Executive Appropriations Committee to prioritize funding for HB 32!

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • In Sept 2019, the Kem C. Gardner Institute and Utah Hospital Association issued a joint report on Utah’s Mental Health System which showed that, while over 100,000 Utahns have a serious mental illness, Utah is last in the nation for mental health services. Increasing the number of residencies is a critical component in addressing the upstream problems in Utah related to behavioral health care and, ultimately, the state’s high suicide rate.
  • Because outcomes in behavioral health issues are much more complex, they are difficult to treat in an emergency room situation. In counties with less than 125,000 residents and few resources, HB 32 would provide three more crisis response teams.
  • In the long run, the expanded system created by HB 32 will save money. Because these services are much less costly than hospital visits, they can be covered by expanded Medicaid and private insurance.
  • An average of 627 Utahns die from suicide every year, yet we know that suicide is preventable. HB 32 appropriates funds to better meet the State’s needs in reducing our high rate of suicide and saving lives.
  • HB 32 awards grants to counties in order to create behavioral health receiving centers. These centers are necessary to increase services for people experiencing a mental health crisis without requiring incarceration or emergency room hospitalization.
  • Although Utah already has a mental health crisis line, a state audit revealed that from 2016 to 2018 the service ran at a roughly $1 million deficit, which is only expected to increase. HB 32 seeks to fix the funding mechanism for this service.
  • An average of 627 Utahns die from suicide every year, yet we know that suicide is preventable. HB 32 seeks to better meet the State’s needs in reducing our high rate of suicide and saving lives.
How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

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