The Health and Mental Health Policy Board is about to tackle the crisis with a new report on the state of mental health care emergencies across Missouri.
At the first meeting of the legislative session on Monday, the committee heard the results of two reports related to mental health carried out in the past two years.
“We are desperately needed right now.
“We have an epidemic, a pandemic, of mental health issues that we have to deal with. The issues we discuss are bipartisan,” Griffiths said. “They’re affecting all of Missouri.”
The first report, from the House Subcommittee on Mental Health Policy Research, presented by Democratic Kansas City Rep. It was based on 17.5 hours of testimony from people. by mental health issues.
The report found several common themes through interviews, stating that shortages of staff and hospital beds, housing insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opioid crisis all contribute to the national mental health crisis. I pointed out that
The subcommittee made several recommendations. As a top priority, members said salaries for Department of Mental Health employees should be increased to address staffing shortages. Other recommendations include continuing state funding for 988, the national mental health crisis line, and telemedicine telemedicine options to increase access to care in rural and remote areas of the state. was to expand.
“The national mental health crisis is real,” said Lewis, who has a nursing background. “It happened before the pandemic, but the pandemic has exacerbated it and our children are most at risk.
A second report presented by Griffiths focuses specifically on veterans’ suicides.
According to a 2018 data sheet from the Missouri Department of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate among Missouri veterans was higher than that of both civilians and veterans nationwide.
Despite this ongoing crisis, Griffith said last year’s session did not pass any bills related to veterans’ issues.
Like Lewis, Griffith also spoke about the need to continue funding 988. As the report puts it, 988 is a national program, but it is up to states to integrate 988 into larger health care networks and connect people at risk to care and interventions.
But Griffiths also emphasized that for reports to make a difference, they must be read.
“We do these reports, but what do they do? They sit there and nothing happens,” Griffith said. The report) will be distributed to all members of this agency so that they can read it and understand what is going on.”
One change that all House committees will have to consider this year is a new limit on the number of bills each committee can advance.
To be voted on by the House, a bill must pass through a committee. At the start of this legislative session, each committee allows him to introduce only two bills before the Legislative Council adjourns for his March 9 spring break.
Republican Bolivarian Rep. Mike Stevens chairs the Health and Mental Health Policy Committee. He believes the change will encourage committees, including his own, to consolidate multiple bills into a larger bill, rather than passing smaller bills one after another, which puts them at greater risk of dying in the House. ing.
“In the past, we tended to take one bill at a time, discuss it, decide on it, and submit it,” says Stephens.
“What has to happen now is that a number of similar bills, or at least bills dealing with a single area, are put forward, debated, debated, and the various parts of those bills are combined into a single bill. It is to be sent.”
The work for the Missouri News Network is written by students and editors of the Missouri School of Journalism and published in newspapers of members of the Missouri Press Association.