An editorial in the Racine Journal supports legislation that would provide a grant program for mental health crisis restoration centers. The bills would also allow law officers to take people with acute psychiatric needs to the closest mental health institute in the state.
The authors point out that although access to psychiatric care would be more quickly available in some parts of the state with passage of the bills, residents in the Racine area still would have to travel at least two hours for help. Therefore, they support the funding of regional crisis centers that would be situated at hospitals. Click here to read the editorial. Here is an excerpt.
“So the aspect that has us enthusiastic is the proposed grants for developing regional mental health crisis centers. Given all of the facilities operated by Ascension, Aurora and United Hospital System in the Racine-Kenosha area, we see no reason why one of the area facilities couldn’t obtain a grant and establish itself as a regional center.
We want our law officers on duty within Racine County, not taking 4-plus hours out of a shift to transport someone in need of mental health care to a state-mandated facility. Especially when a facility within 40 miles of the station could be established as a regional destination for such patients.”
The bills (SB 681/AB 815) were introduced by Republican and Democratic legislators and by members from Dane County and the center of the state. Among its supporters are: the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association; the League of Wisconsin Municipalities; the Dane County government; the Dane County Cities and Villages Association, and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.
See “Bipartisan Support for Better Access to Mental Health Institutes” on this blog for background on the legislation.