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State task force ready to take on mental health reform after break

Flickr User Kevin Simmons

Members of the state House of Representatives are planning changes to the state’s mental health system.

Members of the new task force toured the state. They spoke to mental health experts, providers and patients.

The goal is to provide consistent mental health services across the state. The lawmakers also hope to improve the quality and accessibility of services.

Republican Representative Klint Kesto is a co-chair of the task force. He says the facility tours and meetings gave the task force ideas for new legislation.

“We continue to learn more as we have these meetings and we continue to find problems that we can have an immediate fix.”

He says lawmakers have already started to draft legislation.

“But certainly I believe we will have more and more things that we need to address. More issues that we need to find legislation for.”

Kesto says it wants to look at multiple perspectives of mental health.

“We’re really looking for innovative and cutting edge policy. So it’s important that we hear from the providers but we also hear from those that are receiving services and their family members.”

Kesto says the task force plans to roll out legislation this fall. He hopes some bills will at minimum be voted out of the House by Christmas.