Title 25

Bob Beck, Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming’s Title 25 program is $13 million dollars over budget and a group of legislators and others were told this week that reforms and policy changes are needed to slow down that spending. 

Title 25 covers court ordered hospitalizations for mental health and substance abuse patients. The state hospital doesn’t have enough beds to house those who need services, so the state has to pay private providers for that care. Natrona, Fremont, and Sweetwater County are driving the costs.  

The Wyoming House of Representatives made some changes to a bill that would reform how the state handles people involuntarily hospitalized due to mental illness. 

During second reading debate, the House adopted an amendment that gives more authority to so-called ‘Gatekeepers’. 

Every county will now have a gatekeeper that will watch over the patient and how their case is handled.

Gillette Republican Eric Barlow said his amendment clarifies the gatekeeper’s duties.

The Wyoming Senate has approved a bill that would reform how the state handles people involuntarily hospitalized due to mental health issues. 

Miles Bryan

The Wyoming Senate is working on a bill that is intended to reform how people can be involuntarily detained in a mental health crisis. The system is known as Title 25. 

The legislation is attempting to give courts the ability to order people to undergo outpatient treatment and ensure there’s someone to monitor those released from a mental health hold.

Cheyenne Attorney Linda Burt said she has serious concerns with the legislation, mainly because it lacks adequate funding. She noted other states that have outpatient commitment also have lots of services.

Bob Beck

The  Wyoming legislature's management council agrees that more work is needed to reform Title 25 in the state. That deals with people involuntarily detained in a mental health crisis. 

A select committee of legislators recently drafted a bill that gives courts the ability to force people to undergo outpatient treatment, but Wyoming Department of Health Director Tom Forlslund said he and the committee are trying to come up with other reforms as well.

Miles Bryan

  

A Wyoming legislative committee recommended approval of a major reform to the state’s system for dealing with people involuntarily detained in a mental health crisis Monday night.

The system is known as “Title 25.” The bill approved by the committee  would give courts the ability to order people to undergo outpatient treatment; right now they can usually only order forced hospitalization, or let the patient go.

A year after it started trying to recruit staff, the juvenile crisis center in  Cheyenne is still nowhere near opening.

Juvenile Crisis Centers provide a short term stay and counseling to youth who are in crisis as an alternative to lockup. Currently there are crisis centers open in most major Wyoming towns, but Cheyenne has been without one since the Attention Homes crisis center closed in 2010.

Miles Bryan

Part 4 of our Title 25 series. Listen to the entire series here.

Janell Hanson and her son Adrian live in a sunny house just steps away from the historic Ivinson Mansion in Laramie. Their house is gorgeous--it’s actually older than the mansion. But on the day WPR visited, the beautiful oak front door was marred by a hole in its stained glass panel, temporarily sealed with duct tape.

Miles Bryan

Part 3 of our Title 25 series. Read Part 4 here.

Jodi Glover is exhausted. She usually is by the end of the day. Glover works two full time jobs: one as a doctor’s assistant in Cody, the other as the caregiver to her twenty year old son, who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Leland Christensen
Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming officials will soon meet to consider how to reform the state’s system of involuntary treatment for mental health issues, known as Title 25.

That system allows police or mental health officials to detain someone they consider to be a danger to themselves or others, and make them undergo psychiatric treatment.

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Part 1 in our Title 25 series. Read Part 2 here.

If you want to get the full picture of how the Title 25 process works in Wyoming you need to talk to Chel Bleckler. That’s because she spent over a decade working in an E.R. in Cody, where a big part of her job was working with Title 25 patients.

Miles Bryan

Part 2 in our Title 25 series. Read Part 3 here.

The Cloud Peak Counseling Center in Worland looks more like a nursing home than a psychiatric hospital. It’s a small building with murals on the walls and a game room with leather couches. In fact it isn’t technically a hospital at all.