Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lawmakers Advance Mental-Health First-Aid Bill

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Bethany Barnes of Arizona-Sonora News Service reports on a state bill to fund programs for mental-health first aid, a program that has been championed by Congressman Ron Barber at the federal level.

politics_phone1.jpg
Two Tucson lawmakers are hoping their bipartisan bill will help Arizonans be more attune to the mental health needs of their community.

HB 2570 passed out of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday and would take $250,000 from the general fund to expand the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Mental Health First Aid program.

The program runs 12-hour training sessions to help the public to understand and assist people with mental illness. The training is often free and is similar to taking a CPR class, according to the Department of Health Services’ website.

The Tucson Police Department came out in support of the bill. TPD Sgt. Jim Kirk compared the program to neighborhood watch efforts, which he said were a great help when he was a burglary sergeant.

The bill came out of conversations that the bill's sponsors, Rep. Ethan Orr (R-Tucson) and Rep. Victoria Steele (D-Tucson), had when running against one another. Orr and Steele both live less than a mile from the Safeway where former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot. The two started talking and realized what they had in common, Orr said.

Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) said he was pleased to hear the bill, noting that it “is a critical part of the overall education process,” that is needed for mental health.

Kavanagh said the bill pairs nicely with two of his own bills, HB 2555 AND HB 2618, both of which have passed out of committee.

HB 2555 would require health care providers and teachers to report patients or students that are a danger to themselves or others, while HB 2618 would require officers be trained on how to recognize and respond to someone who is seriously mentally ill.

Steele said she is hopeful that the bipartisan support will continue.

“We know that prevention and treatment work. We know we can prevent further deaths,” Steele said, adding that just about a year ago her friend shot herself in the head.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Jim Nintzel

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Cool Summer Nights

Beat Arizona heat and enjoy a family-friendly outing during the Desert Museum’s Cool Summer Nights. The stunning… More

@ Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Continues through Sept. 2 2021 N. Kinney Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. HoCo Fest Labor Day Weekend Schedule Unveiled Today (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Woof Down Wednesdays (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 7: Memories of Dylan and Meeting Former Czech President Václav Havel at Gunpoint. Also, Sold Out Show! (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Tour Diaries: XIXA Day 8: 'Gabe Heard and Saw Me Reset My Knee From Across the Room.' (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation