A month after calling for a “game-changing” investment in mental health, Senate President Peter Courtney has introduced a bill detailing a comprehensive network of new mental health programs and services for children, young adults, families and schools.
It would take $333 million over the next two years to fully pay for community health programs and serve the thousands of Oregonians who need care and don’t receive it, Courtney, D-Salem, said last month.
Senate Bill 823 would:
- establish a statewide program to provide psychosis prevention, detection and treatment services for young adults 15- to 25-years old.
- create “young adult community hubs” to provide mental health services to young adults.
- pay for one full-time practitioner for mental health services at all school-based health centers.
- create a “Collaborative Problem Solving technical assistance center” at OHSU.
- establish mobile teams of mental health professionals.
- develop community-based crisis respite care, residential treatment facilities and detoxification centers.
- establish a rental assistance program to provide subsidies to develop and provide low-cost housing for people with mental illnesses.
- provide employment services to people with mental illness.
- place a geriatric mental health specialist in each community mental health program.
It’s unclear whether the bill will pass or how the state would pay for the new programs. The Oregon Health Authority “shall pay for these programs using all available sources of public and private funds,” the bill says.