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Hearing Set For Bills To Improve Care For People With Mental Illness

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Two bills that supporters say will improve care for those suffering from acute mental illness are the subject of a public hearing at the Statehouse on Monday.

One bill would create a test program to provide care for psychiatric patients currently boarding in hospital emergency departments.

Supporters cite a recent study that found more than 40,000 patients with acute mental illness are boarding for days or weeks in emergency departments each year.

The second bill would create a special unit to provide care for patients who are difficult to manage.

Behavioral health care advocates and nurses are expected to testify.

Both bills result from recommendations made by a special Mental Health Advisory Committee in 2014, which included representatives from throughout the mental health system.

The hearing starts at 1 p.m.

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