New State Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, said Thursday she has introduced legislation with broad bipartisan support from more than 30 co-sponsors that will mandate the creation of community mental health action plans in every county across the state, “to battle the mental health crisis gripping our state.”
“The growing mental health crisis in Oregon affects us all,” said Helt, who recently resigned from the Bend-La Pine School Board. “I’m proud to have this opportunity to convene stakeholders in each community across Oregon to address their unique mental health needs. I deeply appreciate the support that my colleagues from both parties have shown for this bill.”
In a news release, Helt said HB 2843 will help communities develop unique plans to reduce suicide rates, combat domestic violence and better address homelessness.
A long-time fellow school board member, Peggy Kinkade, concurred with the benefit of this legislation.
“For years, Cheri has been on a quest to broaden children’s mental health services. She has organized and attended meetings with mental health service providers, school and county officials, counselors, suicide prevention programs, students and parents,” Kinkade said.
“I am excited that she can now advocate from her seat in the Legislature to bring these essential services to the many children who struggle with mental illness and traumatic experiences.”