Hawaii looks to boost access to mental health care for teens - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii looks to boost access to mental health care for teens

By MARINA STARLEAF RIKER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are concerned about teenagers' access to mental health care in a state where suicide is one of the leading causes of death for residents under 18.

Lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee are considering a bill Tuesday to lower the age of consent from 18 to 12 to receive mental health services. The bill would give mental health professionals the ability to decide whether to involve parents when treating minors deemed mature enough to seek services.

This comes a day after lawmakers moved forward with a resolution to request an audit of the state's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, which provides mental health care to minors. Lawmakers say the division was given $63 million to operate in fiscal year 2016-2017.

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