Kansas Lawmakers Urged to Create Mental Health Network
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas legislative committee is being urged to authorize creation of a network of emergency observation and treatment facilities for people having a mental health crisis as an alternative to sending them to jail or a state hospital. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Overland Park police officer Tom Keary and Leawood police officer Ken Whiteside have urged the interim committee to create the network of special hospitals or clinics for people who decline voluntary placement. Facilities would handle involuntary commitments ranging from 48 to 72 hours so that individuals can be quickly stabilized and more informed decisions about treatment can be made. Several legislators agreed that a gap exists in the state's safety net for people with mental health issues, but expressed concerns about the network's feasibility.