February 2, 2024
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080
We appreciate Rep. Abbott’s efforts to help Utahns with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness. Unfortunately, we cannot be certain the bill will actually help this population get treatment, as civil commitment is a status not access to services.
As we have repeatedly said, the Legislature must prioritize supports designed to ensure individuals with mental health needs have the chance to be active and productive members of their communities, while preventing or delaying the need for higher levels of care, institutionalization, or incarceration.
Without a complete continuum of care in local areas, our family, friends, and neighbors with serious mental illness do not have the opportunity to be full members of their communities, and, until we create and fund a robust and proactive community-based system, tinkering around the edges won’t get the state closer to fulfilling its obligations under the ADA’s nondiscrimination provision and integration mandate.
We hope this bill will get a few more individuals access to supports, but we urge you to fund more. Thank you.