More than 800 Hoosiers and Black faith leaders are urging state lawmakers to “re-imagine public safety” by fully funding a mental health crisis response system in Indiana. Leaders of the Black Church Coalition and Faith in Indiana met with legislators on March 14 and urged for full funding of Senate Bill 1, a proposal that would provide all Hoosiers with a mental health helpline, mental health professionals to arrive on the scene of a crisis and facilities.
The proposal has already unanimously passed the Senate and is now in a House committee. But fully funding the crisis response system is what brought Black faith leaders to the Statehouse to speak to legislative leaders. An Indiana Behavioral Health Commission report determined that untreated mental illness costs Indiana $4.2 billion yearly. Establishing and running a crisis response system will cost $130.6 million annually, the same report found.