SB 282 will increase the suicide rate for Montana children.
The bill adds criminal penalties in providing mental health services to children.
If SB 282 is passed by the Montana Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gianforte, it will become a misdemeanor crime for a Montana pediatrician, psychotherapist, or pediatric psychiatrist to treat a mentally ill child if one of the parents feels they were inadequately informed about some element in their child’s treatment.
Montana has one of the highest child suicide rates in the nation.
SB 282 will have an enormous chilling effect on the treatment of mental illness for Montana children. The ultimate outcome from such a bill is that parents will have an even harder time finding mental health treatment for their children, and the delays and obstruction to care written into SB 282 will result in more deaths of Montana children.
Montana needs the leadership of the Montana Legislature to step up its efforts to prevent suicides, not legislation such as SB 282.
Please contact your state senators immediately to oppose SB 282.
Len Lantz, MD