In the waning hours of the 2022 Legislative Session, the Senate unanimously passed an omnibus mental health package to fund programs and provide resources necessary to tackle Minnesota’s growing mental health crisis. The package includes approximately $92.7 million in funding for mental health initiatives.
“Addressing the mental health crisis facing our communities, especially in our youth, has been a bipartisan priority all year and after working around the clock in the final hours of this session, we were able to pass a strong bill that will make an impact in the lives of Minnesotans across the state,” said Senator Jason Isaacson (DFL-Shoreview). “I’m proud of the work we did in the legislature to put difference aside and put the needs of people first on such an important issue.”
One of the components of the bill was funding to create a pilot program establishing mental health urgency rooms. The idea for the legislation came from a constituent of Senator Isaacson’s whose child experienced a mental health crisis and had to wait several days in an emergency room before they received inpatient psychiatric care. This program would create appropriate, family-friendly spaces where youth experiencing mental health crises can go outside of hospital emergency rooms.
“No one should have to wait hours for care in any emergency, especially in a mental health emergency,” added Senator Isaacson. “Thankfully, this funding can show us a path forward to ensuring people get the care they need. I’m hopeful this pilot program can serve as a model in moving quickly to provide a safe space for youth suffering a mental health crisis, which is essential to preventing negative long-term outcomes.”
In addition to the mental health urgency rooms, the legislation includes a number of other important provisions including:
- Ongoing funding for mobile crisis units
- Ongoing funding for school linked mental health
- Ongoing funding for shelter linked mental health
- Critical competency restoration provisions to support public safety and criminal justice
The legislation, HF 2725, passed the Senate unanimously by a vote of 66-0, passed the House by a vote of 68-60, and now awaits the Governor’s signature.