Spotlight Bill -
House Bill 1468:
988 Crisis Response - (Rep. Steve Davission)
The number of Indiana residents on the brink of crisis whom are living with serious suicide related thoughts and/or exhibiting suicide related behaviors is escalating to unprecedented levels. Individuals in Indiana looking for mental health and substance use related help has sky- rocketed, especially for youth, and there is an insufficient workforce to meet that need.
The pandemic has exacerbated Hoosier’s mental health and substance use related issues to a crisis of epic proportions.
Each of us have friends, neighbors, coworkers, children, all who have been in distress - yet our current behavioral health crisis response system is not effective.
Indiana does not have a system designed to specifically meet the needs of behavioral health crisis other than Emergency Departments, first responders, and law enforcement agencies, most of which typically begin with a call to a 911. Unfortunately, all of these entities currently have an overtaxed bandwidth. In addition, Indiana has an insufficient number of psychiatric beds, which over the past year, on multiple occasions, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When things go right with our current crisis system flow, there are typically two points of entry. One typically starts with a call to 911 and engaging law enforcement who transport individuals in crisis to Emergency Departments. The other begins with an individual seeking an Emergency Department without the help of law enforcement. After an individual arrives in the Emergency Department, only a small percentage of cases will have access to inpatient services. A large majority of cases are referred to outpatient mental health services with a significant wait time or the inability to meet the needs of the individual.
This is the best-case scenario. Too often services are declined and individuals are referred back to insufficient community supports, or result in incarceration or relocation.
Often, these outcomes lead to homelessness, unemployment, increased trauma, and ultimately suicide. While our current crisis system is not designed to effectively respond to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, our state is spending an exorbitant amount of money each year to provide an ineffective response.
The framework of House Bill 1468 would create a structure for a behavioral health crisis response, using a community-based partnership between law enforcement, first responders, hospitals, mental health and substance use professionals, and other community based entities. The point of entry involves the utilization of call centers, mobile crisis outreach services, sub-acute stabilization centers, peers, and treatment providers. This would reduce the need for acute care and hospital Emergency Department visits, substantially decreasing the burden of traditional responders and significantly cutting the costs of care that is not even appropriate for this service need.
To read more about House Bill 1468, please read below:
House Bill 1468: VARIOUS HEALTH MATTERS - Specifies that the division of mental health and addiction (division) has primary oversight over suicide prevention and crisis services activities and coordination and designation of the 9-8-8 crisis hotline centers. Sets forth requirements to be designated as a 9-8-8 crisis hotline center. Establishes the statewide 9-8-8 trust fund. Delays the requirement that a prescription for a controlled substance be in an electronic format until January 1, 2022. Adds pharmacists as a prescriber for purposes of the telemedicine laws. Removes the requirement that a prescription for a patient who is receiving services through telemedicine be based on a previous in person examination or as part of an established treatment plan.
House Committee recommends passage, as amended Yeas: 12; Nays: 0