House and Senate Members from Rutherford County Push for Medical Facilities to Better Update Bed Availability, Especially for Mental Health Treatment

May 30, 2023 at 06:06 pm by WGNS News

Above: Example of Hospital Bed Availability

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN – Mental health issues continue to grow among society and help for those who are burdened by such problems is harder to find than one might imagine. State Representative Mike Sparks of Smyrna told WGNS about a recent report that focused on the shocking increase of youth suicides... Sparks said the findings were released by the “Trust for America's Health” organization.


One reason that help for both youth and adults is harder to come by is because facilities often lack enough beds for patients. Sparks also suggested that some medical facilities are not updating the number of available beds properly - or an update is not going into a general operating system.

Earlier this year, Sparks introduced legislation (HB0827) that would require medical facilities to update their bed availability to patients, making it easier to place those in a mental health crisis, into a treatment center... The proposed House Bill was deferred to the Health Committee in the first calendar date of 2024. Representative Sparks told WGNS that he spoke to officials at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and they confirmed updating bed availability would take staff about two additional minutes to do. 

The companion Senate Bill by Shane Reeves of Murfreesboro (SB0866) was recommended for passage, but is stalled until next year due the House Bill being deferred until 2024.


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