MENTAL HEALTH: Senate Passes Ban on Physical Restraints
A measure aimed at "dramatically" restricting the use of "sometimes-deadly" physical restraints in mental health facilities passed the full Senate Wednesday night. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), would prohibit all facilities funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration from using restraints or seclusion practices except in cases where a patient's life or the lives of other patients or staff are in danger. The bill would require facilities to report any deaths associated with the use of restraints or seclusion. It also would impose new training protocols for mental health workers. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), the bill's co-sponsor, is leading the charge on a separate bill that would target facilities funded by Medicaid and Medicare. Both bills have yet to be heard in the House. The Hartford Courant notes that the measure was prompted in part by an investigative series last year that detailed the manifestations of widespread use of restraints and seclusion in mental health facilities nationwide (11/5).
Children's Mental Health
In a separate move Wednesday night, the Senate passed the Youth and Drug Mental Health Services Act, a bill to reauthorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and provide substance abuse and mental health services to children and teens (CongressDaily/AM, 11/5.