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STATEHOUSE — A bill to codify mental health services and support in Indiana has unanimously passed in the State Senate.

Senate Bill 1 does many things to broaden and bolster support for Hoosiers struggling with mental health. For example, the bill expands what can be covered under Medicaid to include mental health services that can be reimbursed by the program.

The bill also expands the role of the 9-8-8 crisis lifeline to include more state-level involvement. It’s already been rolled out at the federal level.

“One of the other things that we did in the aspect of Senate Bill 1 is expanding the 9-8-8 crisis lifeline,” said the bill’s primary sponsor State Sen. Mike Crider (R-Greenfield). “In the first six months that that lifeline was instituted at the federal level, 9-8-8 suicide crisis lifelines received 1.7 million calls, texts, and chats.”

The bill has had bipartisan support from the beginning of its existence. It has also had staunch advocacy from Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.

“Approximately 22-percent of Hoosiers experience mental health illness each year,” said State Sen Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago). “We’ve got six and a half million Hoosiers in the state of Indiana. Mental health is an issue that has been a crisis in our state and our country that has gone unrecognized for years.”

The bill advanced out of the full Senate on a 49-0 unanimous vote and will now spend the remainder of the 2023 legislative session in the hands of lawmakers in the Indiana House, where it too is expected to pass and be sent to Governor Holcomb.