Connecticut Democrats will prioritize access to mental health services this legislative session

Connecticut Democrats have said making it easier for people to access mental health care will be a priority on their next legislative agenda when the state’s General Assembly convenes Feb. 9.

The pandemic has increased the need for more easily accessible mental health services, Senate Speaker Martin Looney said. That’s why he expects his Democratic caucus to make it a priority on his legislative agenda in the upcoming session, he said.

“It is particularly acute in young people and school-aged children. And there are gaps in access to mental health, mental illness insurance coverage,” Looney said.

Legislative task forces set up last year will report their recommendations to lawmakers in February. Those recommendations could include requiring insurance companies to increase reimbursements for mental health therapy sessions and creating alternative mental health insurance plans, Looney said.

“We hear many cases of mental health providers rejecting insurance coverage and asking for cash payments. And that of course excludes many of the poor and most of the middle class as well,” he said.

Other priorities for Democrats would include helping cities and towns pay for special education and increasing the state working income tax credit for low-wage workers, according to Looney.

About Evelyn C. Heim

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