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Wednesday, January 29, 2020
HB2680: Involuntary Hospitalization for Mentally Ill
By Rep Cynthia Thielen @ 2:14 PM :: 2783 Views :: Health Care, Law Enforcement

Lawmaker takes action on the mental health crisis in Hawai‘i

News Release from Office of Rep Cynthia Thielen January 28, 2020

Representative Cynthia Thielen (50th District, Kailua-Kaneohe Bay) is again introducing legislation to restore the categories of “gravely disabled” and “obviously ill” to the criteria for involuntary hospitalization that was deleted by Act 221, SLH 2013. HB2680 also increases the maximum period of emergency hospitalization from 48 hours to 72 hours.

HB2680 will be heard on Wednesday, February 5 at 9 am in Capitol Conference Room 325.

The mental health crisis in Hawai‘i is without question a troubling, devastating issue that needs to be addressed by the state legislature immediately.

Rep. Thielen said, “The current standards for involuntary hospitalization do not adequately prevent harm, either to persons suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, or to members of the public. Situations often escalate to irreparable damage and senseless tragedies.”

In redefining these terms, HB2680 increases the flexibility of standards to allow for a person to receive treatment before a point of danger has been reached and needless deterioration of an individual occurs. The inability of individuals to care for themselves (the definition of “gravely disabled” as broadly defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness), rather than “proof of dangerousness,” has been seen to be a more effective benchmark in protecting communities and those suffering from mental illness, alike.

Rep. Thielen added, “The Legislature cannot sit idly by while there are comprehensive solutions grounded in expert analysis available. Safety concerns and compassion are key to treating the mental health crisis in Hawaii.”

For more information about the hearing, and to provide testimony, you can visit >>> “Hearing Notice”.

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