Friday, June 2, 2023

Interim Report: LOCHHRA

The Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources heard a presentation on care in mental health facilities on Sunday, May 7th.

The DHHR has implemented the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. By dialing 988, individuals connected to crisis counselors with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The department has implemented mobile crisis services for children statewide.

The department has expanded its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), which provides several community-based rehabilitative mental health services for adults with a history of frequent psychiatric hospitalization. This program allows individuals to get the services they need while living in the community of their choosing.

The presenter provided a list of treatment services available. Currently, there are five Psychiatric Hospitals (Acute Care), with two of the facilities offering services to children. There are 705 beds within these five hospitals, of which 52 beds are for children.

Three Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities are in the state. These are full-time secure facilities for individuals who need around-the-clock care.

A Crisis Stabilization Facility for children is under development in Elkins, WV. There are 677 licensed and unlicensed group homes. Forensic Group Homes are being discussed. These homes are for individuals who are unable to stand trial or are found not guilty due to mental illness and are considered a danger to themselves or society.

The State has 30 substances use disorder facilities with 1,581 beds and 109 Recovery Support Residences with 1,519 beds.

The department does face workforce shortages in most facilities, which is delaying statewide adult mobile crisis services, ACT in the eastern panhandle, additional acute care beds for children, crisis stabilization for children, forensic group homes, and adolescent SUD treatment. The shortage also makes it difficult to appropriately place individuals with IDD and mental health dragonesses.

The department is also creating a plan for IDD patients at Sharpe and Bateman Hospitals. The plan is in its research phase as the agency is visiting the hospitals and studying how they work in addition to gaining a better understanding of IDDs. They hope to facilitate a better discharge process for individuals.

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