YOU did it!
SB1716, the Arizona State Hospital bill, passed the Arizona House Health & Human Services
Committee yesterday 7-1! Thank you to everyone who signed in to azleg.gov to support this bill and called or emailed the Committee members and Governor’s office. You made a huge difference in the lives of individuals with chronic mental illness!
We still have our work cut out for us. SB1716 will soon go to the AZ House of Representatives for a vote. Please take some time to email and call your two state Representatives and the Governor and urge them to support this important legislation.
Find out who your lobbyist is and get their email here:
To recap what this bill hopes to accomplish; ASH will no longer be able to limit the number of patients who can be admitted based on the county where the patient lives. Currently, only 55 patients from Maricopa County can be at ASH. — even when there are empty beds:
- ASH offers the highest level of psychiatric care. Admission should be based on clinical needs, like dangerousness to self and others and beds used for the sickest psychiatric patients statewide.
- Nobody should be excluded from treatment because of their zip code.
Reforms the existing ASH Governing Body (Governing Body) to operate without conflicts of interest:
- The majority of members will NO LONGER be employees of the Department of Health Services, which oversees ASH.
- Requires that the Chair of the Independent Oversight Committee (IOC) be invited to Board meetings and provide quarterly reports about human rights violations with patients.
- Improves transparency — requires Governing Body file annual reports with the Legislature that describe the treatment provides and what is working.
Patient safety improvement:
- ASH has an outmoded video surveillance system that puts patient safety at risk. Need a better surveillance system. The bill requires ASH to maintain a surveillance system with video and audio and appropriates $500,000 to do so. ASH administration has requested a new system last year and is currently in a Request for Proposal.
A better run State Hospital protects public safety and health by getting treatment for our most mentally ill patients ad holding the hospital accountable.
Sample of suggested email and/or talking points for a phone call. Please tailor your own message using one or more of the following sentences:
Dear Representative _______,
I ask that you support SB 1716. We need to improve our State Hospital and protect the public.
All 116 civil beds available there should be open to the sickest people in Arizona.
We need better accountability at the hospital because of the dangerousness of the people treated there.
You can call the Governor’s office at 1-602-542-4331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We realize that everyone’s life is full, if you are unable to call or email but still want to help the chronically mentally ill, you can partner with us financially. ACMI is a group of dedicated volunteers, no one receives a salary. Your gift will go directly toward improving the well-being of people living with chronic mental illness.