Senate Approves Four Dhingra Bills Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The Washington state Senate has unanimously passed four bills aimed at improving the state’s behavioral health system. Sen. Manka Dhingra, chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and sponsor of the legislation, emphasized the importance of building capacity for services across the behavioral health crisis continuum.

The first bill, SB 6308, focuses on ensuring that technology and integrated data platforms at 988 call centers deliver critical information for seamless, person-centered service. This is aimed at providing “A Place to Call” for individuals in crisis.

The second bill, SB 6251, aims to develop regionalized coordinated behavioral health crisis response plans across the state, focusing on providing “Someone to Come.” The Behavioral Health – Administrative Services Organizations are responsible for establishing comprehensive plans for mobile rapid response crisis teams and community-based crisis teams in their respective regions.

The third bill, SB 6228, aims to remove hidden barriers preventing patients from accessing the treatment they need, ensuring they have “A Safe Place to Be.” This bill also aims to cut red tape to help the state’s behavioral health workforce grow more quickly.

The fourth bill, SB 5853, seeks to expand the state’s system of crisis relief centers to provide separate facilities for minors, addressing the current system that only serves adults. These facilities provide immediate mental health and substance abuse care to individuals, operating 24/7 and accepting walk-ins

By Editor

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