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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 23, 2016 02:02 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Mental Health Bed Registry (former HB 858 of 2015-16 session)
 
In the near future, I will re-introduce former HB 858 from last session. This legislation directs the Department of Health to establish a mental health bed registry in Pennsylvania.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental illness refers to any medical condition that disrupts an individual’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others or daily functioning. It is estimated that there are more than 61 million Americans – 1 in 4 adults – who experience mental illness in a given year. One in 17 are living with a serious mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or borderline personality disorder. In 2012, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 35.7% of Pennsylvania adults considered their mental health “poor.”

While mental illnesses are treatable, NAMI reported that nearly 60 percent of adults – and nearly 50 percent of youth ages 8-15 - with mental illness did not receive any mental health services in the previous year. Under my legislation, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is required to establish a web-based mental health bed registry that is accessible to employees of mental health care facilities across the Commonwealth. The mental health bed registry will assist employees in locating available care for any individual who is in need of an inpatient examination and treatment.

Under my bill, the mental health bed registry must include the following information: contact information for each mental health facility that includes a description of the facility, the number of beds available at each mental health facility, the level of security provided at each mental health facility, the type of patient that may be admitted into each mental health facility, and any other information that may be necessary to allow an employee to identify an individual who may receive voluntary or involuntary inpatient examination and treatment under Article II or III of Act 143, known as the Mental Health Procedures Act.

By establishing a mental health bed registry, we are protecting the safety of the individual in need of care, their family, and others they may interact with daily. If you are interested in co-sponsoring this important legislation, please contact my Harrisburg office.

Previous co-sponsors include: COHEN, KORTZ, KOTIK, FRANKEL, DAVIDSON, BROWNLEE, DONATUCCI, PASHINSKI, LONGIETTI, V. BROWN, HARKINS, CALTAGIRONE, SCHLOSSBERG,
D. COSTA, DeLUCA, ROZZI, DEASY, MURT, MCCARTER, WATSON, MICOZZIE, KINSEY, MOLCHANEY, M. DALEY, TOOHIL, MIRABITO, HAGGERTY, CLAY, ENGLISH, THOMAS, GAINEY, and SWANGER.