Michigan House approves Rep. Whiteford’s mental health support hotline

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State Rep. Mary Whiteford’s plan to create a permanent, statewide mental health hotline to connect people in need with vital support services was overwhelmingly approved today by the Michigan House.

The Legislature previously approved a plan authorizing a temporary pilot program in at least three geographically diverse areas. Whiteford’s new legislation would make a permanent round-the-clock phone hotline available across Michigan, enabling operators to immediately refer individuals to local services with appropriate care providers to address concerns.

“The hotline will be a place for people to go who do not know where to turn when experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Whiteford, chair of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. “It has the potential to keep families together, make them stronger, and even save lives. We must establish this hotline and fund it appropriately so people across the state can get the help they need.”

Whiteford, of Allegan County’s Casco Township, said the legislation was inspired by the many individuals she heard from during the 2017-18 statewide House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force tour and by her own experience as a former emergency room nurse.

House Bill 4051 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.