The bills are part of an effort to boost mental illness prevention and access to treatment. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a series of hearings last fall on the state of Rhode Island's mental health system. Lawmakers produced a report with several recommendations based on hours of testimony from health care providers, patients, and advocates.
The package of legislation is designed to begin implementing some of those recommendations. One bill seeks to make it easier to obtain inpatient mental health treatment. Another bill would require colleges to adopt plans to meet students' mental health needs. And one piece of legislation would help address the shortage of mental health workers in Rhode Island.