COLUMBUS—The Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 2, sponsored by State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), improving access to and increasing the quality of mental healthcare in Ohio by making significant reforms to Ohio’s competency restoration procedure.
Senate Bill 2 would generally allow nonviolent, misdemeanor offenders to receive competency evaluations in outpatient settings, ensuring state psychiatric hospital beds remain available for Ohioans suffering from serious mental illness.
“Improving access to and increasing the quality of mental healthcare has long been a priority of mine,” said Gavarone. “State psychiatric hospitals are the only facilities equipped to treat people with the most serious mental illnesses, and Senate Bill 2 will help ensure those beds are available to those with the greatest need. I am thankful my Senate colleagues moved swiftly on this bill to help those who are suffering get the help they need.”
The legislation will also enact ‘PSYPACT’, a multi-state cooperative agreement that seeks to address increased demand for psychological services.
The bill would authorize tele-psychology and temporarily allow in-person psychology across states that have adopted PSYPACT. The legislation would increase patient access to care and facilitate continuity of care when a patient relocates or is traveling. Additionally the PSYPACT permits psychologists to provide services to populations that are underserved or geographically isolated.
Senate Bill 2 will now be sent to the Ohio House for consideration.