Mental health advocates propose change to responding to mental health emergencies and crisis situations
March 17, 2021
By: Kasia Kerridge
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Colorado mental health advocates are proposing a change to responding to mental health emergencies or crisis situations.
Mental Health Colorado introduced the “Secure Transportation Bill” to improve mental health crisis response and reduce the burden on law enforcement.
“When you call 911 for a heart attack or a stroke, the chances are is that you’re going to get EMT response and paramedics and transportation in an appropriate vehicle to a healthcare setting. That is just not always true when it comes to mental health,” said Vincent Atchity of Mental Health Colorado.
The organization said people who need mental health treatment can often times be taken to a hospital by law enforcement or an ambulance, possibly in handcuffs, which can be traumatizing for victims. This bill proposes someone in crisis can be met with clinical professionals and be transported in a safe, designated vehicle.
Mental Health Colorado is the state’s leading advocacy agency for mental health. They work to promote well-being, increase access to quality care and educate on the shame and discrimination that are often associated with mental health and substance use conditions.
“We are in grave need of serious mental health improvements across our healthcare landscape. Our national organization has ranked Colorado as 47th in the nation out of 50 when it comes to need versus access of care,’ said Atchity.
To read more about the bill itself, click here.