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Cassie Wright Act aims to help support struggling teens

Legislation that ensures parents are able to support their children who may be  struggling with their mental health passed both chambers of the General Assembly  this week.

The Cassie Wright Act, sponsored by Assistant House Majority Leader Mark  Cochran, R-Englewood, was named in honor of a local teen who was seeking mental health care, but tragically took her own life. Due to her age and current Tennessee law, Cassie’s mother was not informed of her struggles. 

Currently, if a child is 16 years old or older, they have the same rights as an adult  when it comes to outpatient and inpatient mental health treatment, medication  decisions, confidential information and participation in conflict resolution  procedures. 

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“No child should ever suffer alone,” Cochran said.  “Children need their parents  support, especially if they are dealing with mental health crisis.  I hope that by  passing this legislation, parents are able to be involved in their child’s treatment  when necessary and keep tragedies like this from ever happening again.”

This legislation authorizes a child’s parent, legal guardian or legal custodian to have access to the minor’s prescription records in regards to their mental health  treatment.  It also requires any professional treating a child to report any suicidal  ideations or thoughts of self-harm made by the child to the minor’s parent, legal guardian or legal custodian. 

House Bill 2773 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law. 

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