Cortez Masto, Wyden Introduce Bill to Improve Emergency Response to Mental Health Crises
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) proposed a new bill to help states adopt mobile crisis response teams that can be dispatched when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) crisis instead of immediately involving law enforcement.
“For individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, the assistance of trained health care and social workers is more effective than interventions from law enforcement in deescalating the situation and helping to connect those individuals with vital services to address the problems that led to the crisis. I’m proud to support legislation that will provide Nevada and states across the country with additional Medicaid funding to help them set up mobile crisis teams that have a proven track-record of providing effective, trauma-informed care to those in need.”
The bill, the Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) Act, grants states enhanced federal Medicaid funding (a 95% federal match) for three years to provide community-based mobile crisis services to individuals experiencing a mental health or substance abuse disorder crisis. It also provides $25 million for planning grants to states to help establish or build out mobile crisis programs.
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