Connecticut state Sen. Kelly, senate republican lawmakers share proposals to address the menal health crisis

Connecticut state Senate Republican Leader, Sen., Kevin Kelly (R-21, Shelton, Stratford, Seymour, and Monroe), recently joined his Senate Republican colleagues on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at a press conference, in Hartford, Conn., to present a package of legislative proposals, to address the state's mental health care crisis, and provide support to children, mothers, families, and the mental health workforce.

The legislation includes policies to:

- Increase access to mental health care,

- Support the mental health workforce,

- Address the youth mental health crisis, and

- Improve screening and support for maternal mental health.

“On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic our state and our nation are facing a mental health crisis,” Connecticut state Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-21, Shelton, Stratford, Seymour, and Monroe), told Hearst Connecticut Media.

“Stress, loneliness, job losses, loss of childcare, school closures, and loss of loved ones are just some of the ways the pandemic has taken a toll on people’s emotional and mental health. Connecticut residents are experiencing these issues, and our state is also experiencing an overburdened mental health system that is making it even more difficult for people to access treatment. It is a priority for the Connecticut General Assembly to address the mental health crisis and help all people — including women, children, and vulnerable populations — across our state access needed, quality health care to support their mental health and the health of their loved ones,” Kelly said.

“At a time when mental health disorders are increasing at an alarming rate and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened stressors such as social isolation, economic insecurity, anxiety and fears of infection, and financial hardship, we must act to support all people access mental health supports,” Connecticut state Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-20, Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford), told Hearst Connecticut Media.

Sen. Kelly and Sen. Formica were joined by Senate Republican ranking members of the Connecticut Public Health Committee, Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28, Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, and Westport), and Sen. Heather Somers (R-18, Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, and Voluntown), as well as Dr. Michael Patota, president, and CEO of The Child and Family Guidance Center, and mental health advocate Antonia Edwards, co-founder of the non-profit organization SoliDarity, and grandmother of Norvon Edwards, a child who lost his life at age 8, following a sibling's struggles with mental health issues.

Read the full plan at ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Mental-Health-2022.pdf.

Components of the plan include:

- Expand coverage for mental health care professionals,

- Make telehealth permanent, especially for mental health,

- Support the mental health workforce by establishing a tuition reimbursement program,

- Increase mental health availability for children,

- Conduct a social media impact study,

- Introduce family care coordinators at connecticut schools, and

- Prioritize maternal mental health via postpartum screening, and support.

A video of the press conference is available at youtube.com/watch?v=0MSchw-s-ks.

More information is available at ctsenaterepublicans.com/2022/01/sen-kelly-lawmakers-share-proposals-to-address-mental-health-crisis/.

The full plan is available at : https://ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Mental-Health-2022.pdf.