Thanks for State Journal reporter David Wahlberg's new series on responding to mental illness. He did a great job adding voices to the discussion and untangling the complexities of the need for services and the response by mental health agencies and other providers.
Wahlberg's earlier Dec. 31 article, "Closer detentions sought," revealed bipartisan support for a solution to some of the problems he described. Two Democratic legislators from Dane County and two Republicans from central Wisconsin introduced a bill (Senate Bill 681 and Assembly Bill 815) which would provide grants to hospitals for regional mental health crisis centers.
The bill has attracted a diverse group of supporters. They include the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Dane County and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. And, the list is growing.
The Racine Journal offers an enthusiastic endorsement of the centers. Criminal justice officials in St. Croix told Attorney General Brad Schimel about their need for crisis beds.
Time is running out for action in this legislative session. But the need will remain and support will increase.
Katie Mulligan, Madison