Two bills would make mental health services more accessible to those in crisis and streamline the many support structures that individuals rely on to address mental health needs. The bipartisan bills address the need for an alternative option for communities across the state and would provide funding for mental health hubs that house diversion programs for people who commit low level crimes while suffering from a mental illness.
Minnesota struggles to properly treat and care for individuals with mental illnesses with the resources currently available. Comprehensive community mental health centers would provide medical professionals and the community a centralized location for mental health care. The package contains the framework necessary to establish mental health hubs and appropriates approximately $4 million to start a competitive grant program. Another $500,000 is appropriated in a separate bill for Beltrami County to start a mental health hub program to address the dire need in that community.
By aiding the creation of community mental health hubs, supporters argue we will be helping not only those with mental illnesses, but also the police who respond to a crisis situation, the jail facilities that are unequipped to protect and treat this vulnerable population, and the Minnesota taxpayers who pick up the tab.
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