Senate Takes Bipartisan Vote to Boost Mental Health Services for Kids

Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

The state Senate endorsed an omnibus plan Friday to bolster mental health services for Connecticut children in effort to strengthen a support system exposed as inadequate to handle the additional strains of the pandemic.

The Senate approved the bill on a 33 to 1 vote following statements of support from lawmakers of both parties. Sen. Rob Sampson, R-Southington, cast the only vote in opposition.

Shortfalls in the behavioral health system emerged as early a legislative priority after public hearings exposed existing deficiencies that had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers heard stories of children struggling with mental health crises turning to emergency departments as treatment programs around the state reported long waiting lists.

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