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State Senate approves package of bills dealing with mental health

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin is one step closer to boosting its resources for treating those with mental health issues.  

The state Senate gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a dozen bills which are now on their way to Governor Scott Walker.  

The Republican governor started talking about the need to address mental health concerns after a pair of mass shooting incidents in 2012. That was when six worshippers were killed at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek -- and Radcliffe Haughton killed his wife, two other women, and himself at a Brookfield spa.  

Ten bills were approved unanimously Wednesday. West Bend Republican Glenn Grothman voted no on two other measures. He has said he's concerned about overprescribing drugs for psychotic matters, especially to children.  

The new measures would spend about $4 million for treatment. Health care providers would get new ways to share information, and a child psychiatry hotline would be set for doctors.  

A quarter-million dollars in grants would be made available every two years for law enforcement to have mental health intervention teams to deal with crisis situations.

Among other things, more funding would also be available to encourage mental health professionals to locate in underserved parts of Wisconsin.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)