Labor, Health and Social Services Forwards Behavioral Task Force Bill to Legislature

Written by on November 12, 2019

Lawmakers have approved the creation of a behavioral health task force reports the Casper Star Tribune.
The task force will pick up where a similar 2005 effort left off. The bill was approved by a 10 to 3 vote by the Labor, Health and Social Services Committee.
The mandate of this task force is large. There are six major areas, several with subsections. The primary areas include changes since 2005–needed changes to laws–availability and access to mental health and substance abuse services–and funding for those services.
Mental health and substance abuse was the labor committee’s second primary topic this year. The data about Wyoming on both topics is grim. The state has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, especially among teenagers.
Though support was strong–a vocal minority spoke up to disagree with it. Representative Scott Clem of Gillette said he was torn as the bill asked for another report and not actionable items.
The task force is indeed another effort that will end in a study or a report–something growing increasingly familiar to lawmakers. But Wilson and Clem’s desire to produce “actionable items” at the end of it portends legislation may come from this process.


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