Lawmakers weigh shifting mental health emergency responses from police

Rural communities could receive funding to shift responses to mental health emergencies from law enforcement to trained mental health professionals if two Senate bills pass. The legislation would establish community grants to assist local governments with increasing crisis response programs and diverting people with mental health conditions from jails. One […]

Rural communities could receive funding to shift responses to mental health emergencies from law enforcement to trained mental health professionals if two Senate bills pass.

The legislation would establish community grants to assist local governments with increasing crisis response programs and diverting people with mental health conditions from jails.

One bill would allow communities to create and expand more crisis intervention services, including hotlines, counseling, and mental health related emergency response calls. It is sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit.


All communities are eligible for funding, but rural communities would receive priority.

Chang said she has been talking with social workers and law enforcement offices across the state. She emphasized the importance of allowing trained mental health professionals to respond to emergency calls.

“So many people who call for help aren’t necessarily getting the help they need,” Chang said. “It’s so important that we’re really using our taxpayer dollars wisely and making sure that people are directed to the appropriate services.”

The program could mean that fewer of these calls would end in arrests, she said

https://www.bigrapidsnews.com/local-news/article/Lawmakers-weigh-shifting-mental-health-emergency-16558621.php

Dong Anker

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