Mental Health Reform Measures Signed Into Law In Delaware

Jul 24, 2012

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill that reforms Delaware's emergency mental health system is about to become law.

Gov. Jack Markell signed a measure Tuesday changing the way emergency mental health screenings are conducted as part of an effort to avoid unnecessary involuntary detentions.

Instead of police taking a person experiencing a mental health crisis to a hospital emergency department in handcuffs, the bill allows a psychiatrist or credentialed mental health screener to evaluate a person anywhere. It also requires that if a person does need to be transported elsewhere, it should be done in the least restrictive manner possible.

Markell also signed a related resolution passed by the General Assembly calling for a study group to examine Delaware's civil mental health laws.