HARTFORD- On Tuesday, State Representative Brian Lanoue (R-45), enthusiastically supported Governor Ned Lamont, in signing Public Act 22-92 (formerly, H.B. No. 5485, An Act Concerning Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes), into law. This new law addresses several factors in improving mental health and addiction services, along with strengthening the CRISIS Pilot Program Initiative in Connecticut – which recently secured another year of funding the important program in the Connecticut State Police, Troop D region.
The new law expands resources to support those with mental health and addiction issues to get the help they need in a much more timely manner. This was added into the bill after Rep. Lanoue sent a formal request to the Public Health Committee to expand licensure to professional counselors – which includes marriage and family therapists, who will now have the authority to issue emergency certificates to those with a psychiatric disability for medical examinations. This will expand support and service options to clients of these specified Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services community members.
“Given the huge increase in individuals in mental health and substance abuse crisis, adding trained, licensed professionals who are working on mobile crisis teams to those who can assess for community safety will save lives,” said Diane Manning, President/CEO of United Services, Inc. “Rep. Lanoue worked with members of both the House and Senate to ensure that this legislation was carefully considered and passed in both chambers. We appreciate his support of first responders like United Services and our local partners, including police departments and ambulance personnel, in assuring that compassionate response is available to those in crisis.”
The measure will also strengthen existing support under the CRISIS Pilot Program Initiative, and further increase the resources that are available to our law enforcement community when dealing with individuals suffering from mental health and addiction-related issues.
“With the sprawling geographical region of eastern Connecticut, expanding the number trained licensure’s that will now be allowed to issue these emergency certificates will be a great support mechanism to our already overburdened men and women in law enforcement. This will also save lives of those in immediate need of emergency mental health and addiction services,” said Rep. Lanoue. “The legislation will go a long way to preserve the CRISIS Pilot Program’s recent expansion into northeastern Connecticut, and solidify it throughout the entire eastern side of the state. I want to personally thank the Public Health Committee leadership, particularly Representative William Petit, for advocating so strongly to get this licensure expansion added into 5485, Senator Heather Somers for getting the bill called in the Senate, and to Governor Lamont for signing this bill into law. Additionally, I want to extend my gratitude to Representative Greg Howard, and Senators Cathy Osten and Mae Flexer, for co-introducing legislation with me to preserve the CRISIS funding for Troop D region. I am grateful for the bipartisan eastern Connecticut’s delegation teamwork on this vitally important public policy issue,” he concluded.