A bill aimed at increasing accessibility to mental health services in Indiana has passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 1

On February 13th, the Indiana Senate unanimously voted 49-0 to pass Senate Bill 1, a bill that would make mental health services more accessible to Indiana residents. The bill takes aim at a number of issues.

Photo by Steven Van Elk on Unsplash

A Toll-Free Helpline

One of the issues the bill addresses is Indiana's lack of a toll-free helpline. The Division of Mental Health and Addiction would be required to establish and maintain such a line.

It requires the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) to establish and maintain a help line: (1)to provide confidential emotional support and referrals to certain resources to individuals who call the helpline; and (2) that is accessible by calling a toll free telephone number.

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In 2022 an emergency suicide prevention number, similar to 911 for emergencies, was enabled across the country after a 2020 ruling by the FCC naming 988 as the Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line. Indiana Senate Bill 1 will change the name of the state's 988 call center from "9-8-8 crisis hotline center" to "9-8-8 crisis response center."

Photo by Matthew Ball on Unsplash

More Mental Health Facilities

The bill also opens up the possibility of additional mental health facilities across the state. Currently, there are 18 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in 15 Indiana counties.

The bill provides that, subject to certain procedures and requirements, the Office of the Secretary of Family and Social Services (FSSA) may apply to the United States Department of Healthand Human Services: (1) for a Medicaid state plan amendment, a waiver, or an amendment to an existingwaiver to require reimbursement for eligible certified community behavioral health clinic services; or (2) toparticipate in the expansion of a community mental health services demonstration program.

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics provide a wide range of services for both mental health and substance abuse and are required to provide 24-hour crisis services. Additionally, they must provide the following core services:

  1. Crisis Services
  2. Treatment Planning
  3. Screening, Assessment, Diagnosis & Risk Assessment
  4. Outpatient Mental Health & Substance Use Services
  5. Target Case Management
  6. Outpatient Primary Care Screening & Monitoring
  7. Community-Based Mental Health Care for Veterans
  8. Peer, Family Support, and Counselor Services
  9. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

On to the House

After passing the State Senate on Monday, Indiana Senate Bill 1 now moves on to the Indiana House.

[Source: iga.in.gov]

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