State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in his Capitol office last Friday as he ceremonially signed into law one of Crisco’s signature legislative efforts: Public Act 13-178, “An Act Concerning the Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Health of Youths.”
“In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, we passed an historic, comprehensive package of reforms that included significant mental health provisions,” Crisco said.
“This companion legislation digs deeper into addressing the root causes of these tragedies, making early identification and intervention a priority. This law ensures that our state will have a solid system of mental health support commensurate with the task of addressing children’s mental health issues in Connecticut.”
PA 13-178, which officially became law on June 24, serves as a complement to the gun violence prevention and child safety law which was passed by the legislature in reaction to the December 2012 school shootings in Newtown.
The new law seeks to reduce mental, emotional and behavioral health issues in children. It will do so through enhanced prevention, early identification and intervention, better communication and consistency between home visitation programs, and new initiatives.
The law creates a Children’s Mental Health Task Force to study the effects of nutrition, genetics and psychotropic drugs on children.
The task force will gather and maintain current information regarding these effects; and advise the General Assembly and Governor concerning the coordination and administration of state programs that may address these issues using a results-based accountability framework.
The task force membership will include, but is not limited to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, an educator, a pediatrician, a dietician and a pharmacologist.
The task force will submit its finding and recommendations to the Commissioner of Children and Families and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children by Sept. 30, 2014.
This is a press release from Crisco's office.