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West Virginia Legislature to study mental hygiene process in interim

By Taylor Stuck, The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sheriff’s departments have long been overwhelmed by their mental hygiene order responsibilities, but a bill to help ease their burden by removing the medical clearance requirement died in the session as lawmakers with real-world experience expressed concern. Lawmakers are now using the interim to study the problem.

Sheriff’s departments are the sole entity responsible for executing mental hygiene orders. Deputies execute the order, transporting patients to psychiatric facilities sometimes across the state. But before they are taken to the psychiatric facility, patients must be medically cleared — something that has to happen at a hospital. This can result in hours of waiting with patients.

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office estimates it costs more than $55,000 in not even a year to transport mental hygiene patients. Ohio County deputies must travel as far Princeton to find a bed sometimes, as Wheeling no longer has a psychiatric hospital…

To read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/legislature-to-study-mental-hygiene-process-in-interim/article_ac7598d8-7c3f-5fef-ae74-38fcac07546b.html

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