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Policy Brief - Sustaining Acute Behavioral Health Services for Connecticut's Youth: The Wireless Surcharge Opportunity

March 2024

Connecticut has been establishing a continuum of community-based acute behavioral health services for youth that is aligned with national best practices. These essential and life-saving services include the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline (which partners with 211 in CT), Mobile Crisis Intervention Services, and Urgent Crisis Centers for youth. They provide an effective alternative to the emergency department for many youth experiencing behavioral health crises. Unfortunately, many of these services are supported by short-term funds that are set to expire soon

This policy brief identifies how Connecticut can sustainably support acute behavioral health services for youth by leveraging federal legislation to implement small monthly surcharges on wireless plans, as many other states have done or are in the process of doing. It includes:

  • An overview of the wireless surcharge opportunity
  • Examples from other states
  • Actionable recommendations for Connecticut

This brief was co-authored by CHDI President & CEO Jeff Vanderploeg, Ph.D and Wellmore Behavioral Health CEO Gary Steck, LMFT


Read the full Policy Brief (pdf) 


Related Media Coverage

"Advocates Press Cellphone Fee for Mental Health Services, Hotline," CT Examiner, 5/27/24