Hotline will provide direction for those experiencing mental health crisis
State Rep. Mary Whiteford, who previously served on the House C.A.R.E.S. Mental Health Task Force, says she was proud to support the general fund supplemental appropriations bill, which included the creation of a mental health crisis hotline pilot program.
Whiteford made this recommendation to the appropriations chair after listening to families and mental health experts from across the state.
The supplemental budget, signed into law in December, appropriates $3 million for the creation of the proposed hotline pilot program. The service will be called the Michigan CARES Hotline.
The hotline will be a way for individuals and their loved ones who are desperately seeking help, to talk to someone. Operators will then refer the individual to local services or health facilities with appropriate care providers.
Whiteford introduced a bill in June of 2018 to create the hotline, but the hotline required a funding source.
“I’m so glad this idea is finally being implemented,” said Whiteford, of Casco Township. “I feel strongly that this hotline will change and save lives in Michigan. As a former nurse, it’s incredibly important to me that we prioritize connecting individuals with help when they first reach out. Waiting until that person hurts themselves or others is too late.”
The process has begun in getting the hotline up and running. It will be operational in the near future.