Counties Call For Increase in Mental Health Resources

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson today testified to support HB 108 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services before the House Health and Government Operations Committee. This bill builds on the Behavioral Health Crisis Response Program by increasing funding and resources.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties host various structures to serve residents with behavioral health needs – some within county government, others through a community-based non-governmental organization. Regardless of the specific means, counties are active partners in delivering services locally to those who need them. The existing Behavioral Health Crisis Response Grant Program frames this relationship, and creates standards for grant applications.

HB 108 adds additional context, and funding, to this structure – both of which will be beneficial. The bill encourages “mobile crisis teams” as a best practice for rapid response, and manageably integrates them among the services that may be dispatched by a county 9-1-1 call center. The bill also encourages the use of resources other than law enforcement during many such crises – reducing the potential for negative interactions arising. Getting the right resources, and staff with the best-suited training, to such situations may yield better outcomes overall.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.