A pair of bills aimed at helping people struggling with mental health have passed out of the Oregon Senate.
House Bill 3090 would make hospital emergency room employees draw up discharge plans for mental health patients, even if they haven’t been admitted. And House Bill 3091 would force health insurance companies to cover behavioral health checks.
Kevin Fitts, an advocate who’s suffered dozens of mental health crises said it’s not unusual to spend hours being assessed in the ER, only to be released without treatment or follow up.
Fitts remembers leaving one hospital after being in the psych ward for four days.
“I was not connected to services… And I did not have a case manager or a skills trainer or peer specialist to help me navigate any of these,” he said.
“It was just, ‘Okay, thank you. You’re no longer needed to stay in the hospital and here’s your bus ticket and be on your way.’ And that is very challenging.”
The bills now go to Gov. Kate Brown who is expected to sign both.